Tag Archives: Volunteer

How can you make the most of your summer?


Deciding what to do with your summer break can be difficult. You want to make the most of it, have fun, enjoy your time off, but you also want to put yourself in the best position to get that dream job once you graduate. Here’s three great ways you can use your time away from university to boost your chances of being employed at the end of your degree!

Get a Summer Job

Employers love a candidate who shows the drive and initiative to get out in the world and work even while their still at university. Whether you do a little or a lot, whether it relates directly to your degree subject or it doesn’t, any job you do will help you to gain so many of the necessary skills coveted by all employers!


If you can find a great cause that your passionate about, why not get involved by volunteering? Volunteering shows prospective employers another side to your character, whilst also allowing you to build on your skills, knowledge and experience.


If you have the funds you need, traveling can be a great way to broaden your knowledge and life experience as you learn about other cultures and communities. It can also be a fantastic way to make use of both of the above through working abroad or volunteering overseas somewhere new and exciting!

Whatever you do with your summer break, don’t waste a chance to push yourself and explore. Use your time off wisely, and make the most of your holidays by gaining the skills you will need to succeed!


Make a Difference to people’s lives by volunteering

Volunteer now!


Cumbria CVS Volunteer Centre can support you into volunteering by advising you on the types of voluntary work available in local voluntary, community or statutory organisations. Cumbria CVS works with a wide range of organisations throughout Cumbria that are looking for new volunteers.

There is a wide range of volunteering opportunities including health and social care, fire service, independent custody visitors, caring, youth work, administration, supporting disabled or older people, befriending, driving, conservation, and being a trustee.

Before you start to volunteer it is important to think about what you want to do, how much time you want to commit and how often you are able to volunteer. Different organisations offer a variety of opportunities at different times and on different days.

Volunteering is a fantastic opportunity for you to widen your social networks, gain new experience, build your confidence and self-esteem and share your knowledge and skills with others. For students it helps you add value the organization you are supporting and put something on your CV.

Cumbria CVS is currently recruiting volunteers for the Neighbourhood Care Independence (NCI) programme which  involves different charities providing a range of practical help and advice services for people aged over-18 who requires extra support from time to time, e.g. older and vulnerable people. It is aimed at improving access to services that prevent or delay people from requiring further interventions from statutory services.

Carlisle Partner charities from the Neighbourhood Care Independence Programme such as Caritas Care, British Red Cross, Carlisle Eden Mind, Glenmore Trust, Deaf Vision and Carlisle Carers are looking to recruit new volunteers. Volunteering opportunities include care in the home, supporting carers, transport Services, handy people to help with fixing things in the home, supporting individuals with hearing impairments, volunteer drivers and volunteer befriending for vulnerable people, people with mental health problems and carers.

Judith Holmshaw, County Volunteer Support Officer for Cumbria CVS says, “If you would like to make the difference to the lives of older and vulnerable people then become a Neighbourhood Care Independence Volunteer. We are recruiting volunteers in Carlisle, Eden, South Lakes and Barrow. By giving a small amount of your time through volunteering you will be doing something positive in society as well as doing something for yourself.  You will enable older or vulnerable people remain independent at home as well as doing something for yourself. Volunteering is a great opportunity to meet new people, enhance your CV, share existing skills and also to try something new”.


To become a Cumbria CVS Neighbourhood Care Independence Volunteer or to find out more please contact Judith Holmshaw at Cumbria CVS on 01768 800350 or e-mail: info@cumbriacvs.org.uk.

You can register with Cumbria CVS to receive full details of our volunteering opportunities in a number of ways:

Visit www.do-it.org.uk website, find a volunteering opportunity that interests you, click the ‘apply for this opportunity’ button, and complete the online registration form.

Call 01768 800350 or e-mail: info@cumbriacvs.org.uk to arrange an appointment in your local area or to request a volunteers’ information pack

Follow us on twitter: CumbriaCvs

Like us on facebook: Cumbria CVS

Volunteering with Mencap

Carlisle MENCAP provides life long person centred support for people with learning disabilities and their families in North Cumbria.


We are a local charity set up in 1968 we have over 150 members and provide services for over 300 people with learning disabilities and their families. Our services include residential respite care for adults at California House and for Children at the Grace Little Centre, children’s home based respite, community support, young people’s clubs and holidays, family support workers for young people with autism, holidays, leisure activities and befriending.


We always need volunteers even part time ones, we work flexibly and provide the necessary training.

The main services we need volunteers in are:

Our shop on St Cuthberts Lane, Carlisle. The shop is staffed by our clients with support put in by our team. We have a warehouse where we sort items which have been donated to take to the main shop. We sell clothes, books, bric-a-brac and more!

We need volunteers who can commit regularly to help our clients run their shop.

Carlisle Active is a group of 30 Adults with learning disabilities who meet on a monthly basis to do leisure activities. The group is staffed by volunteers and organised by Angela Beale. Examples of activities are walking and trips out. This group acts as a befriending service for people.

Carlisle Active need volunteers who are available to go on day trips on one Sunday a month.

We run holidays for adults, to Center Parcs, Blackpool, Calvert Trust and a Summer Sun holiday every year. Each one is staffed by volunteers and organised by Angela Beale. The holidays provide an opportunity for disabled adults to go on holiday with their peers and to experience new things with the correct level of support.

To volunteer to go on holiday you will need to be willing to give up a long weekend or week of your time.

We run many different children’s clubs, sports clubs, theatre arts clubs, general social clubs, trips out, adventure holidays and more!! We support children with disabilities to take part in different activities try new things and interact with their peers in a safe supported environment.

We welcome volunteers to put on  special activities as well as supporting the young people as a group.

We are always looking for Mini-bus drivers. All of our services require drivers at some point.


For more information contact Carlisle MENCAP on 01228 674 393 or enquiries@carlislemencap.co.uk

As a volunteer you will need to undergo Safeguarding Adults at Risk training and Safeguarding Children training, come to meet us for an informal interview and have a DBS check.




Student Volunteering Week 2014 – 24th February – 1 March (Friday’s Featured Vacancy)

Student Volunteering Week (SVW) is a nationwide celebration of student volunteering. SVW 2014 will combine local campus focused events and campaigns with a national media profile and high-level events. We will be celebrating the positive difference that students have made, and continue to make, on campus and in their communities – wherever they might be.


U Stand Out Conference in Lancaster – Friday 28 February

This is going to be a brilliant event where you can develop key skills and learn more about local volunteering and employment opportunities. There will be workshops around leadership, being more assertive, cv enhancing, and more and you’ll be able to sign up for any sessions that you like the sound of. Click HERE for more info.

Bag Pack with Cumbria CVS and Carlisle Carers – Carlisle – Saturday 1st March

UCSU is joining up with Cumbria CVS and Carlisle Carers to carry out a charity bag pack in Sainsbury’s in Carlisle. You can volunteer to help in the morning or the afternoon and along with raising money for Carlisle Carers it will also be a great way to meet other students and volunteers from the community and to meet lots of local people.

Register online: Bag Pack with Cumbria CVS and Carlisle Carers in Carlisle

Fun Activity Day for children with disabilities and/or additional needs – Saturday 1st March

From 9am to 5pm at Salt Ayre Leisure Centre, Lancaster.  Would you like to join our team of hosts? Activities will include assisting families as they check in to the event, encouraging the children to take part in the activities which include; childrens’ bouncy castle, adult bouncy castle, inflatable jousting, graffiti wall, face painting, mini-beasts, soft play, sensory zone, disability bikes and more. Volunteers assist children accessing the activities and provide positive support to the families attending the event. You will also have the opportunity to network with local agencies supporting the families too. This is an excellent opportunity to gain valuable experience in the community alongside local agencies supporting families with children with disabilities and/or additional needs.  You can sign up for the dayHERE.

Banana Blitz in Ambleside – Saturday 1st March

Spot a banana and win Fair Trade goodies! Join us in the beautiful village in the heart of the Lake District and help us raise awareness about Fair Trade, try a banana suit on, or simply enjoy a nice day out with UCSU.  Meet us on Saturday 1st of March, between 10am and 2pm in Ambleside town centre, you won’t miss us – we’ll be wearing banana suitsIf you would like to spend a day out in the Lakes and help with the event let Kasia know by emailing katarzyna.litwa@cumbria.ac.uk

Volunteering Your Way Out Of Catch 22

This morning we have a guest post from Ashley Tiffen about volunteering. Ashley is the Programme Leader for our BSc(Hons) Policing, Investigation and Criminology course and recently organised the successful Volunteering Fair here at the University of Cumbria.

Three years at university and you’ve nailed that degree but how do you then go on to get THAT job when the prospective employer demands ‘experience’? This is the Catch 22 situation that many graduating students find themselves in each year.

In an increasingly difficult jobs market the employer is in the driving seat where they can pick and choose from a growing pool of candidates. But what are the factors that can see you rise to the top of this pool and make you attractive to the potential boss?

Clearly your degree is important. It demonstrates many things, knowledge and commitment certainly, and for many careers having a good degree opens the door. But there are other things you can do to develop your personal CV making sure you have the best chance of stepping through into the world of work.

One of those is volunteering.

UCSU volunteering

Image taken from the UCSU Volunteering blog at http://ucsuvolunteering.wordpress.com/

Karen Brady, managing director of Birmingham City football club and board member of BBC’s The Apprentice, says: “Anybody who volunteers is taking a decisive step in the right direction and taking their career ambitions into their own hands. Not only does volunteering give you valuable experience, but it makes you eminently more employable. And who knows, you might even have some fun too! I would seriously consider a candidate for interview if they had committed to volunteering.”

Like Karen, employers are looking for someone who has made a commitment, unpaid, to an organisation and have combined their quest for personal fulfillment and with personal development. Someone who has shown they can get out of bed in the morning wanting to better themselves while putting something back into their community.

Working for a charity operating in your chosen area of interest, for example, tells the employer you understand the area where you eventually want to work. Volunteering also provides the key employability skills – working with others in a team, solving problems, negotiating skills, adaptability, for example – which can then be tailored to specific job applications in the future. It also provides opportunities to network with people who might be in a position to influence your future career.

Finally, many organisations offer training for their volunteers. It might not sound much but a qualification in first aid could be the clincher when you are shortlisted for a future post!
Always choose an organisation you feel comfortable with in an area you are interested in and don’t do it just because you feel you should.

Above all, volunteering should be fun so go out and enjoy it.