Montage of people - Kirklees.  © Brian Cross - artimedia

v involved Bradford

Supported by Volunteering Bradford

The Department for Work and Pensions launched a new volunteering brokerage scheme across England aiming to provide 34,000 volunteering placements in the UK over two years. The scheme’s aim is to help the long term unemployed develop work based skills through volunteering.

The Shipley based charity, Volunteering Bradford, has been delivering the scheme in the city since August 2009.  It has become extremely successful in delivering the scheme with community organisations from across Bradford and has engaged more unemployed people in volunteering sessions that any other city in England. v involved Bradford photo

To date over 1,000 unemployed people have been referred through the three Bradford Job Centres. From April 2010 the scheme was extended to include young people under 25. They volunteer through the National Young Volunteers Service, v involved. V involved aims to inspire a new generation of volunteers and provides an accredited qualification. The scheme is also supported by Bradford Council.

Volunteer opportunities range from sport’s coaching to cooking, reading, mentoring and many more.

Andy, 22, was referred from the Job Centre and has undertaken voluntary work at the Shipley Youth Café helping to set up a new social enterprise. Andy has now gained valuable transferable skills to re-enter the employment sector and develop a career pattern. Andy said "volunteering has given me the opportunity to apply my existing skills. I have gained valuable key skills from volunteering, completed National Awards such as v50, enhanced my CV and helped me return to the employment sector." Andy, previously unemployed, is now working and volunteering was key in supporting him back to work.

Of the unemployed people attending the volunteering sessions 18% were helped back into work through volunteering.  Of those unemployed people now working:  

  • 100% said volunteering helped them gain vocational experience

  • 60% said volunteering helped them increase confidence

  • 10% completed a qualification as a part of volunteering.  

One in three of those now working are still volunteering and they volunteer on average 11 hours per month.

"Volunteering provides a fantastic opportunity to develop skills, fill in gaps in a CV and provide up to date references. Community organisations benefit greatly from having additional support too.   Recent surveys show Bradford has more volunteers than other Yorkshire city and activities such as this provide a real step change for unemployed people."

Dave Forrest, Director, Volunteering Bradford

Volunteering Bradford offers a one stop shop resource for information, advice and guidance on all aspects of volunteering for volunteers of all ages and recruiting organisations. It is funded by Department for Work and Pensions.

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