Our volunteers come to us for very different reasons: to give something back, make a difference, learn something new, develop job skills, build new friendships. Regardless of the motivation what unites us all is that we are, between us, providing a unique, empathic, mutually supportive community. We build each other up and have fun at the same time. So we ask, what do YOU want from volunteering?
The first thing we do is to ask you what skills you have or want to learn and, importantly, what you want from us. We then match you to the opportunities we have – which are many and varied!
Broadly we have ‘steady state’ roles for those who want to have something that’s regular, and ‘peripatetic’ for those who want flexibility and/or to dip in and out of projects.
You could be helping out with admin in our advice hub, looking after our digital platforms, writing articles, blogs, or grant applications, take part in our fundraising efforts, talk to others about our work, provide pro bono support, or become a trustee. Talk to us to find out the huge range of opportunities we have for you.
No, although it’s helpful for us if you do. We’re here to help you develop in whatever way you want though and we have roles where we need your ideas and enthusiasm just as much as a skill, or knowledge. We will match the role to what you can do, and what you want to learn how to do if that’s what you want.
In so many ways! Without you we wouldn’t be able to run the free, grant funded workshops and coaching that we provide for disadvantaged women and keep our hub open for women to be able to find help in a ‘safe space’. It’s our volunteers who keep our website and social media up to date with information, advice and support that we have become well-known for. Our volunteers help us run projects such as our Eastbourne Manifesto for Women which they then took to employers. Importantly, we also help each other engage with our local communities and build new friendships.
The hub has two roles. The first is to act as a drop-in advice and support centre for women. A safe space. We provide a listening ear and find out what support the visitor wants and, if we can’t provide it, signpost them to someone who can. We run some coaching from the hub too, which is booked in advance. We also run the charity from the hub – organising events, fundraising, running grant funded projects etc so it can get quite busy.
The other role for the hub is to act as a place of support for our own volunteers. They can come and learn new skills or develop existing ones to help them with job hunting so they have something on their CV – or just because they want to expand their knowledge and skills. It helps build their confidence and reduce anxieties, reduce social isolation and develop friendships – and have fun along the way!
We have activities that we run in the evenings and weekends which you could get involved with. You could be a workplace ambassador for us spreading the word about what we do, or offer us your advice on a particular task such as how to take better photos and videos. Or you could become one of the pro-bono people that we signpost to for legal, financial or other professional advice
Come and talk to us! We’ll have a chat about you and what you want to do or offer; the practical stuff about your availability, the support we give you etc. If you’re working in the hub then we need two references (not immediate family) because you’ll possibly be working with confidential information. Once you’re ‘enrolled’ we go through our policies so you understand what we do and why, how we keep ourselves and our visitors/beneficiaries safe. You’ll be ‘buddied up’ with a more experienced volunteer to start with to help you settle in.
We try to be flexible because we know that women have varying demands on their time and ‘things crop up’. It helps us in the hub to have regular days or hours but there are plenty of other volunteering opportunities outside of the hub which don’t require you to be around on the same day.
We have a 2+ worker policy in the hub. There may be times when someone is on holiday or ill in which case you may be working alone but this will only be if you are comfortable with doing that. We then operate a lone-worker policy to ensure safe working.
There is an open invitation to all our volunteers to sit in on our meetings and we actively invite individuals if they have been involved in a particular project so that they can feed back to the Trustees how things are going. We also rely on our volunteers to help shape the type of support we provide, such as workshop themes.
Yes, if you decide that would be helpful for you and whether you want this to be formal or informal. We can do a training needs analysis when you first start volunteering with us and then plan how we’re going to support you in your learning journey. Because of our unique environment we have regular checks to talk about how everyone’s doing and that can be done individually or as a group. It’s up to you.
Yes! We can help you with updating your CV too. Plus we are an accredited AQA Unit Award Centre and we can help you gain AQA awards to go on your CV if you wish. Once you’ve been volunteering with us long enough for us to get to know you then you can ask us to be a reference for any job application.
Yes, as long as it’s agreed in advance. We can’t pay you though for your travel to the hub or any of our activities unless that’s part of a grant funded project.