The Involvement Centres are fantastic hubs for our volunteers. We as a Volunteering Team love working in both our DMH Centre and Rosewood. They’re integral to a lot of work we do as a team and accounts like the ones in this video show how important they are to you too.
Over the last year, our team has really missed the sense of community that you as volunteers brought to our Involvement Centres as well as to the wards and areas of the Trust that you volunteered in. We know from speaking to many of you and staff that the volunteers are sorely missed..
The temporary closure of the Involvement Centres in response to nationwide restrictions has had a big impact on our ability to host meetings, training and projects. The team are now all working from home. It’s meant that we’ve had to work differently and adapt the support we’re able to offer volunteers. Many of you have also adapted along with us. Thank you for your perseverance and resilience through a very challenging year.
This is why we’re pretty excited to be launching our new NottsHC Volunteer Hub.
What is the NottsHC Volunteer Hub?
The NottsHC Volunteer Hub is an online space for Nottinghamshire Healthcare volunteers and staff, similar to our Involvement Centres. We aim to make this a safe space for volunteers to offer each other peer support, keep in touch with the team, find out more about volunteering, access training and get involved in projects.
Why should I join the NottsHC Volunteer Hub?
We send out a lot of information to our volunteers in a number of different ways; by email, text, blogs and on social media (Twitter and Instagram). It can be hard to keep track and it can get lost in amongst other things. The Hub will allow for better two-way communication between us and you and a lot of the information you need as volunteers will all be in one handy place. You’ll be able to keep up to date with current opportunities, get involved in meetings, work on documents for projects and find out about training updates, for example.
We know from experience that when we bring our volunteers together in one place, that we also get a brilliant community; a place where there is peer support and friendship. Getting volunteers together is hard during a national pandemic, but we hope that this online community will help link and connect our team and volunteers, which we feel is especially important at a time when many of us are feeling increasingly isolated.
What happens when the Involvement Centres reopen?
This online space will not just be for while the Centres are closed due to national restrictions. We aim to maintain the Volunteer Hub after we’ve reopened the Involvement Centres. We hope that this will help keep volunteers who are further afield better connected with our volunteer community as well as those who are unable to travel or can’t attend the Centre for whatever reason they may have.
As it’s online, will the NottsHC Volunteer Hub be 24/7?
Volunteering Team staff will be usually available during working hours (9-5, Monday-Friday), same as if you were to call or email us as normal. We’d encourage you to still use your usual methods of contacting us if you have an issue you need to discuss.
You will be able to access the Volunteer Hub and everything on it at any time you want, there are no time restrictions on it. There’s no expectations for you to be on it all the time or even every day. Some people would come into the Involvement Centres every day we were open, others once a week – just do what feels right by you.
Some people may find turning off the notifications on the Microsoft Teams app helpful, and just checking in when you’re able to.
How do I join the Volunteer Hub?
Just send us an email to confirm that you want to join so we can add you to the Volunteer Hub.
It is hosted on Microsoft Teams and can be accessed via an app on your phone, tablet or computer. The app is free to download. We created a quick guide as to getting started on Microsoft Teams. The Microsoft website has further help and training on how to use Microsoft Teams.
Please note that if you are joining with a personal email address, your name and email address may be visible to other volunteers. If you do not want your main email address to be shared but still want to join the Volunteer Hub, we would suggest creating a new one used solely to log on to Microsoft Teams.
What do I do once I’ve joined?
We’ll be posting regular updates in the channels to do with all things volunteering. Feel free to join in discussions, introduce yourself and get involved!
Remember that we have the same expectations of volunteers and staff within the Volunteer Hub that we would do as in person at one of the Involvement Centres or in your volunteering role. We want this to be a safe, welcoming and friendly space for all our volunteers.
We can’t wait to see you there!