Volunteering opportunities

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There are many things you can get involved with by volunteering with us - read more about the roles you could undertake below...

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Community Health Champion

A Community Health Champion is a volunteer, who with training and support from the council can help improve the health and wellbeing of their families, communities or workplaces by:

• Motivating and empowering people to get involved in healthy activities
• Creating groups to meet local needs
• Directing people to relevant support and services

As part of a pilot scheme, Community Health Champions will work closely with City of York Council’s Public Health team and raise awareness of health messages amongst communities whilst helping to create supportive networks and environments for residents.

For more information, download the FAQ’s document or contact Fiona Barker on tel: 01904 555720, or by email: fiona.barker@york.gov.uk

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Community Panel member

In this role you will represent the local community when a young person has been given a Referral Order from Court. The Panel Members work with the young person around restorative justice to make amends for their behaviour and to tackle the cause of their behaviour. As a volunteer you will be asked to sit on a panel with another volunteer 2 to 3 times a month.

Benefits to the volunteer: A chance to use and develop your own skills and experience. Access to initial and ongoing training. An opportunity to meet new people, learn new skills improve confidence and self esteem.

To apply, or for more information email: alison.cammiss@york.gov.uk, or telephone: 01904 554565.

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Activity volunteer - sheltered housing

In this role you will support activity sessions within sheltered housing schemes across York. Sessions range from bingo, arts and crafts to sports. The role will involve engaging with tenants, encouraging them to participate in a wide range of activities, taking the lead of the session and assisting with refreshments.

Benefits to the volunteer: opportunity to use and develop your existing leadership, organisational, creative, listening and talking to others skills. A chance to obtain experience in the field of care and befriending.

For more information, or to apply, email: sharon.homan@york.gov.uk

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Urban Buzz project volunteer

York Urban Buzz is helping insect pollinators such as bees and butterflies in York by creating new flower-rich habitats across the city. These areas are important for wildlife and people alike as they add much needed colour to the urban environment. Volunteers are needed to assist with creation and ongoing maintenance of pollinator habitats such as wildflower meadows, orchards, and bee hotels across York.

Benefits to the volunteer: Opportunities to learn practical skills in habitat management. A chance to meet new people and improve your mental and physical wellbeing by spending time outdoors amongst nature. You will influence what happens to green spaces in your local area.

For more information, or to apply, email: andrew.cutts@buglife.org.uk

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Front of house and administration volunteer

In this role you'll help to present a practical, welcoming ethos to parents and visitors at York's Children's Centres, as well as providing some administrative support.

Benefits to the volunteer: Opportunities to use and develop existing skills, and gain experience in the field of office work. A chance to build up your CV and opportunity for social interaction.

For more information, or if you would like to apply, email: alison.cammiss@york.gov.uk, or telephone: 01904 554565.

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Parent-led group leader

In this role you'll help to create a welcoming and stimulating environment for children aged 0 to 4 years, and their parents/guardians. You'll encourage parents to engage in appropriate play with their children and assist Children's Centre staff to increase engagement and involvement of vulnerable families.

Benefits to the volunteer: A chance to obtain experience in the field of work with families and young children.
Opportunities to use and develop existing skills, meet new friends and build confidence and self-esteem.

For more information, or if you would like to apply, email: alison.cammiss@york.gov.uk, or telephone: 01904 554565.

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Parent-led group assistant

In this role you'll help to provide practical support to families and work alongside Children's Centre staff or volunteer parent leaders in Centre activities. You will assist with preparing, running and tidying up after activity sessions.

Benefits to the volunteer: A chance to obtain experience in the field of work with families and young children. Opportunities to use and develop existing skills, meet new friends and build confidence and self-esteem.

For more information, or if you would like to apply, email: alison.cammiss@york.gov.uk, or telephone: 01904 554565.

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Parent helper

In this role you'll provide informal support to Children's Centre staff in setting up and facilitating activities for children aged 0 to 4 years and their parents/guardians. This role allows parents to bring their child/children to activities.

Benefits to the volunteer: A chance to obtain experience in the field of work with families and young children.
Opportunities for your child/children to enjoy the activity while you volunteer. Opportunities for social interaction and meeting new friends.

For more information, or if you would like to apply, email: alison.cammiss@york.gov.uk, or telephone: 01904 554565.

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Volunteer bailiff

In this role you'll liaise with both the public and fishermen, help promote the fishing rules at Chapman’s Pond, encourage responsible fishing and respect for the site and wildlife, report defects and any health and safety issues around the pond to City of York Council. You will also participate in fishery surveys and assist with the monitoring of fisheries as required.

Benefits to the volunteer: An opportunity to make a positive difference in the local community, improve security in the area and deter any potential anti-social behaviour. Opportunities to network with other volunteers and to make new friends.

To apply, or for more information email: environmentandcommunity@york.gov.uk.

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Friends of groups member

Friends of groups are formed by residents who want to make a difference in their local community and learn new skills. Friends of groups take many forms, some hold regular committee meetings, some are much more 'hands on' with informal meetings. Volunteers are invited to form Friends of groups for a site, or to join an existing group. Depending on your interests, you can be involved in applying for funding for projects, carrying out practical site improvements, or be involved with the site development.

Map of Friends of groups areas


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Benefits to the volunteer: Meeting new people, working outdoors can result in improved health. A chance to improve your gardening skills and have an influence on what happens to green spaces in your area.

To apply, or for more information email: environmentandcommunity@york.gov.uk.

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Gardener

This is a volunteering opportunity for those residents who care about the environment and seek to improve it. You will assist with maintenance of green spaces, parks and shrub beds. Is there an area you would like to see tidied up, or would be a good area for a food growing project? Tell us what you would like to do! Tools, training and support provided. Activities take place at a time that suits you.

Map of volunteer gardener areas


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Benefits to the volunteer: Meeting new people, working outdoors can result in improved health. A chance to improve your gardening skills and have an influence on what happens to green spaces in your area.

See the Friends of Leeman Park website for a great inspiring example of a community action group.

To apply, or for more information email: environmentandcommunity@york.gov.uk

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Litter picker

This is another volunteering opportunity for residents who care about the appearance of their local area. As a volunteer you will help to keep your area free of litter. Training and equipment will be provided, as well as litter collection.

Map of litter picker volunteer areas


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Benefits to the volunteer: Opportunity to enhance look of the local area and giving something back to the community.

Check http://www.leemanpark.uk/ for a great inspiring example of a community group in action.

To apply, or for more information email: environmentandcommunity@york.gov.uk.

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Tree warden

As a volunteer you will assist with management and monitoring of trees in York. This can be carrying out practical work such as thinning, coppicing, removing shoots, crown lifting or planting. Assistance is also required to help monitor the city's trees and report any diseased or damaged trees, such as after high winds. Training, tools and support will be provided.

Benefits to the volunteer: Opportunity to enhance the look of the local area and a chance to influence which trees will be planted.

Check http://www.leemanpark.uk/ a great inspiring example of a community group in action.

To apply, or for more information please contact York Tree Wardens: http://yorktreewardens.org.uk/

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Snow warden

Volunteer snow wardens operate in their localities and give up their free time to clear snow and grit pavements when bad weather hits us. This project is about encouraging people to be good neighbours and aims to add value to the work conducted by the council’s operatives.

Map of volunteer snow warden areas


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Benefits to the volunteer: Opportunity to help local community by reducing risk of falls and injuries, giving something back to the community.;

To apply, or for more information email: environmentandcommunity@york.gov.uk.

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Volunteer advocate

As a volunteer you will provide issue based advocacy to young people looked after by the City of York Council who wish to raise concerns about their care, make representations in decision-making forums, or wish to make a complaint against the council and ensure that their point of view is heard. In this role you will be holding 1 to 1’s with young people to establish facts, helping them to express their views when decisions are being made about them, advocating on their behalf in an attempt to resolve a particular issue they have identified.

Benefits to the volunteer: An opportunity to have a positive impact on the young person's life, a chance to use and develop your own skills and experience of working with children and young people, a sense of achievement, access to initial and on-going training, an opportunity to meet new people and to learn new skills.

To apply, or for more information email: alison.cammiss@york.gov.uk or telephone: 01904 554565.

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Independent visitor

As a volunteer you will support a young person living in care. An independent visitor meets the young person every 3 or 4 weeks and takes him/her out for 2 to 4 hours to engage in a positive activity and have some fun. You can attend childcare reviews and speak to professionals in the young person’s life if the young person wants you to.

Benefits to the volunteer: A chance to use and develop your own skills whilst gaining experience of working with children and young people. There will be access to initial and on-going training, an opportunity to meet new people, learn new skills, improve confidence and self esteem.

To apply, or for more information email: alison.cammiss@york.gov.uk or telephone: 01904 554565.

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Parent mentor

As a volunteer you will support parents of children with SEND by providing emotional support, advice and signposting. You will be helping parents to push through the barriers they face in their life. In this role you will be matched with a family and conduct 1 hour long visits on a weekly basis for a period of around 6 months.

Benefits to the volunteer: An opportunity to use your life experience to help parents through a difficult time, opportunity to meet new people, access to initial and on-going training, experience of multi-agency working.

To apply, or for more information email: michelle.porter@york.gov.uk, or telephone: 01904 551399.

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School and Academy Governors and Trustees

The role of a school or academy governor or trustee is a demanding one, but one that gives a great deal of satisfaction to the many people who undertake this role. It is the largest volunteer force in the country and there are just over 900 governors in York helping to improve the educational opportunities and experiences for the city’s children and young people. Support and training is provided by the Governance Support and Development Service, within City of York Council.

If you would like to know more about the role, or would like to register your interest in becoming a governor or trustee, please contact the Governance Support and Development Service by email: governance.service@york.gov.uk, or telephone: 01904 554210.

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Appropriate adult

As a volunteer you will support a young person who has been arrested and requires an adult to oversee his/her detention and interview at the police station. Volunteers ensure that young people’s rights are adhered to and they receive the care they require whilst in police custody.

The Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE) 1984 and accompanying Codes of Practice ensure that whenever a young person under the age of 17 is detained and questioned at a police station he or she must be accompanied by an independent adult known as the 'appropriate adult'.

The appropriate adult is there to safeguard the young person’s rights and civil liberties, aid communication between the young person and the police and look after their physical and emotional wellbeing.

Benefits to the volunteer: An opportunity to have a positive impact on the young person's life. A chance to use and develop your own skills and experience of working with young people. Giving something back to the community and access to initial and on-going training.

To apply, or for more information email: alison.cammiss@york.gov.uk, or telephone: 01904 554565.

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General volunteer for YOT

Youth Offending Team is looking for volunteers to support their work in preventing offending and anti-social behaviour by young people. As a volunteer you will be taking young people to appointments, e.g. housing, social services, benefits, Connexions, job centre.

You will volunteer alongside paid staff and young people carrying out reparation work in the community. You will take part in 1 to 1 sessions with young people in restorative or victim-focused work. This role also involves:

  • mentoring young people who need additional support and guidance
  • prison visiting and resettlement - visiting and writing to young people who are in custody and helping them re-integrate into the community on release
  • bail ‘mentoring’ – assisting young people on bail supervision and support to stick to their conditions and attend the police station or court on time, find positive ways to use their time, accompany them to leisure activities
  • prevention work with young people aged 8 to 13 years. Taking them to the library, out of school activities, educational or cultural visits

Benefits to the volunteer: An opportunity to have a positive impact on a young person's life. A chance to use and develop your own skills and experience of working with young people. A chance to improve your confidence and self esteem.

To apply, or for more information email: alison.cammiss@york.gov.uk, or telephone: 01904 554565.

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Mentor for YOT and PSI Service

Youth Offending Team and Personal Support and Inclusion Service are looking for volunteer mentors to support young people on a 1 to 1 basis. As a mentor, you will explore and develop new leisure activities and access local facilities with your mentee.

As the relationship between mentor and young person develops, the mentor will be expected to respond appropriately to the individual needs of the young person; these could involve support in managing their anger, advocacy on behalf of the young person, referral to another agency etc.

Each mentoring relationship is different and the particular path it follows is dependant on the needs of the young person. Mentors may also take part in occasional group activities and events that may involve trips away.

Benefits to the volunteer: Access to initial and on-going training. A chance to develop and use skills and experience. An opportunity to meet new people, learn new skills, improve confidence and self esteem. Enhanced job opportunities and time to have fun and enjoy yourself.

To apply, or for more information email: alison.cammiss@york.gov.uk, or telephone: 01904 554565.

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Choose 2 and Choose 2-2 Youth Club volunteer

Choose2 and Choose 2-2 are youth clubs for young people with disabilities and or additional needs aged 11 to 24 years. They offer a range of traditional youth club activities, including sports such as football, basketball and adapted bikes, and also computers, video games, arts and crafts. The clubs run every Wednesday and Thursday, 7pm to 9pm in Moor Lane Youth Centre and 68 Centre respectively.

As a volunteer, you will be supporting these young people in participating in these activities. No previous experience is required, just a willingness and commitment to working with young people although patience, good listening skills and empathy are skills that also contribute to making a good volunteer.

Benefits to the volunteer: A chance to use and develop your own skills and gain experience of working with children and young people who have additional needs and/or disabilities. Also giving something back to the community, social interaction, access to initial and on-going training, opportunity to meet new people, improved confidence and self esteem, enhanced job opportunities.

To apply, or for more information email: alison.cammiss@york.gov.uk, or telephone: 01904 554565.

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Volunteer to support Young Inspectors

We are looking for volunteers to support the Young Inspectors group.

The Young Inspectors is a programme that aims to give excluded young people, aged 13 to 25 years a chance to look at services available in their area along with the opportunity to provide feedback on how they could be improved. This involves visiting services, interviewing staff and service users, and 'mystery shopping' services.

Young Inspectors have looked at wide variety of services ranging from the Youth Offending Team, Castlegate, GP surgeries, through to parks and online tools and resources like the anti-bullying survey and Shine website. They meet on Mondays, 6pm to 7.30pm.

Benefits to the volunteer: A chance to use and develop your own skills and gain experience of working with children and young people, enhanced job opportunities, access to initial and on-going training.

To apply, or for more information email: alison.cammiss@york.gov.uk, or telephone: 01904 554565.

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Volunteer to support York Youth Council

We are looking for volunteers to support the York Youth Council which meets every Wednesday evening during term time in the city centre. The York Youth Council are a group of young people aged between 11 and 18 who come from all over the city to voice the views of young people. The Youth Council works to make a positive difference that benefits all of York’s youth – examples of campaigns are 'Stop Bullying' and 'Minding Minds School Award' (for positive mental health).

Benefits to the volunteer: An opportunity to make a difference in the city, a chance to develop your own skills and gain experience of working with young people and young adults, enhanced job opportunities.

To apply, or for more information email: alison.cammiss@york.gov.uk, or telephone: 01904 554565.

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Four Corners Group volunteer

As a volunteer you will support the running of a youth club open to secondary school age young people from refugee, asylum seeker and migrant backgrounds. A typical session involves sports, art and craft, baking and many other activities. You will be supporting young people to enjoy happy, healthy and safe teenage years that will prepare them well for adult life and enable them to fulfil their potential.

No previous experience is required, just a willingness and commitment to volunteer with young people although patience, good listening skills and empathy are skills that contribute to making a good volunteer. This youth group runs every Monday evening, 7.30pm to 9pm during term time, with different trips and events during school holidays. Where: Moor Lane Youth Centre, Wains Road, York YO24 2TX.

Benefits to the volunteer: An opportunity to use and develop your own skills and gain experience of working with children and young people from various ethnic minorities, opportunity to meet new people, engage in a positive activity, giving something back to the community, social interaction and enhanced job opportunities.

To apply, or for more information email: alison.cammiss@york.gov.uk, or telephone: 01904 554565.

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Adult learning support assistant

As a volunteer you will support the tutor with the running of the class to enable learners to participate fully in adult education. Your role as a volunteer is to support individuals or small groups of learners with different needs. You will be placed in a class that reflects your own interests. Your role is to support the educational needs of the learner, not their care needs.

Benefits to the volunteer: An opportunity to gain experience in the field of teaching, it is especially beneficial for those who would like to pursue a career in this field. Also an opportunity to make a difference to people’s lives, share your knowledge, learn new skills and get experience that looks good on your CV.

To apply, or for more information email: jill.murphy@york.gov.uk, or telephone: 01904 554236.

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Other volunteering opportunities

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