If you are struggling to find work, have been out of work for a while, or are looking to build your skill-set up, have you considered that volunteering could help you do this?

Yes, you need to focus your efforts on finding any type of paid work, but whilst you are searching for jobs, if you can give a couple of hours a week to volunteer, it can help in a number of ways.

Here’s how:

  1. You can put your voluntary experience on your CV, which helps break up long gaps where you have been out of work.

2. It shows you are willing to actively find work experience, that you want to gain skills and it helps to demonstrate your level of motivation and commitment.

3. It keeps you involved with people – which can help you stay positive. It can help you build networks of people who may know of other job openings. If you are really lucky, sometimes volunteer roles can lead to paid roles in the same company.

4. You’ll have more to say at interviews – you will be able to give examples or demonstrate where you have experience through your voluntary work

5. It can set you apart from the crowd. Finding work is very competitive and even small differences can help tip the balance. Volunteering it quite a big thing – you’re giving your time for free and it really can make the difference on your CV and at interviews.

6. Build skills and experiences that are useful in the workplace. Think of ‘buzzwords’ that you see on job adverts – teamwork skills; customer service experience; flexible; hard-working; experience of using Microsoft Office; working in a busy, fast-paced environment; interpersonal skills. Believe it or not, you can learn the same skills in certain types of voluntary roles.

So where can you find voluntary work?

Do-It.org is a national database of voluntary opportunities.

Go to your local Volunteer Centre (South Derbyshire’s is in South Derbyshire CVS, 46-48 Grove Street, Swadlincote  DE11 9DD) – volunteering@sdcvs.org.uk, tel 01283 219761.

Put a search in your preferred search engine and look through the results.

See below for some opportunities which are currently being offered at South Derbyshire CVS:


If you are looking to work in Social Care, with elderly people or a care environment, our Practical Help Voluntary role might be a great one, as it involves helping people who have recently come out of hospital (or help prevent them from being admitted in the first place)

volunteer receptionist poster.jpg

practical help poster.jpg

You’ll benefit from volunteering, but you’ll get to help real people who are in real need of some help too.

driving volunteering poster for practical help

Thanks for reading!


This year’s Volunteers’ Week 2017 theme was appropriately named ‘You make the difference’. At a time where services are being cut back and resources squeezed, volunteers really do make a huge difference.

Many services wouldn’t exist without volunteers – such as befriending, volunteer drivers who take people people who can’t use public transport to medical appointments, and local charity shops, playgroups, lunch clubs, heritage organisations, sports organisations, self help and community groups must be mentioned too! These services in themselves hold an immense value for those who rely on them – where would they be without them? So if you volunteer, you should be immensely proud of what you do.

Each year we hold a Volunteers’ Week thank-you event which is free and is open to anyone who volunteers in South Derbyshire.  This year’s theme was a Summer Tea Party, held at the local Town Hall in Swadlincote. Despite the cold and rainy days preceding the event, the weather held out for a sunny but windy day, which simply made the bunting outside look all the better for dancing in the breeze! There was tea, a rather large cake, and plenty of strawberries since they’re in season now. We also dabbled in our first attempt at summer drinks – possibly something to work on for future years, as the recipe for the ‘tropical fizz’ wasn’t quite right!

Over 50 volunteers attended this year. It was fantastic to see the Town Hall full with such a buzz. As something a little different this year, we decided to try a ‘sound bite’ room to record volunteers’ experiences.  We were inspired by Radio 4’s ‘The Listening Project’ and wanted to see if we could capture our interviewees’ thoughts and feelings regarding volunteering – watch this space to see the videos once they’re finished.

Aside from catching up with other volunteers, we had music, games and plant pots for people to decorate – the results looked pretty spectacular from those who completed theirs.

Finally, we took the opportunity to introduce the South Derbyshire Community Awards which are being sponsored by Toyota and will held at Burton-on-Trent Golf Club later this year. We’re really looking forward to giving the people and local organisations who are so dedicated to their community the recognition they deserve!

There are six categories which people can be nominated for –

  • Long Service Award
  • Unsung Hero
  • Young Volunteer of the Year
  • Volunteer Team of the Year
  • Compassionate Company
  • Local Charity or Voluntary Group

Keep an eye on our website as the details will be released soon – http://www.sdcvs.org.uk/volunteering/community-awards 











Over the last 3 months we have given out over 4,840 items of food!

The food bank is now low on UHT Milk, dried pasta, coffee and tins of rice pudding, custard, peas and carrots.

Can you donate an item to help re-stock the shelves?

Donation points can be found in Swadlincote Library, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s or can be brought directly into the CVS.

Call 01283 219761 or email info@sdcvs.org.uk if you want more information.

Thank you for all your support – we couldn’t do it without you!

Vacancies at South Derbyshire CVS in Swadlincote, Derbyshire

  • Network Support Worker– full time 37 hpw £17,891 pa – funded to 31/3/18
    To support our work with networks of voluntary organisations and community groups in South Derbyshire and beyond, including organising meetings and events, communication with members, and managing databases, mailing lists and other records.
  • Community Food Project Support Worker– full time 37 hpw or 2 x 18.5 hpw possible £17,891 pa – funded to 31/3/18
    To support the effective running of our food projects including handling, storing and distributing food donations, keeping records, liaising with clients and volunteers and general admin.
  • Part time/sessional Project Support Workersup to 18 hpw £17,891 pro rata 4 month contract/ sessional work £9.30 per hour
    To deal with enquiries and referrals, contact service users, general admin duties and practical tasks that help the smooth running of CVS projects.

Closing date Fri 21 April 2017 at 9am

Full details at www.sdcvs.org.uk/vacancies

Do you have an experience to share about Care Homes? Do your members or service users?

Healthwatch Derbyshire wants feedback on Care Homes in Derbyshire over the next few months, and would appreciate your help with this.

They want to hear people’s (good or bad) experiences, which can be fed through to Healthwatch by phone, email, or via our website patient feedback centre http://www.healthwatchderbyshire.co.uk/give-feedback/

If possible, they would also like groups to put up a poster, or put an advert in your next newsletter or raise awareness of the campaign via social media – see communications kit attached. They can supply hard copies of the poster on request.

For more information contact

Karen Ritchie
Chief Executive, Healthwatch Derbyshire

Tel: 01773 880786
Web: http://www.healthwatchderbyshire.co.uk

Care Home Communications Kit

Healthwatch A4 Care Home Poster

Care Home Social Media Image 1

Social Media Image One 

Social Media Image 2

Social Media Image Two

Newsletter Advert - Care Home

Newsletter advert





Salary: £36,000 pa
Full Time: Monday to Friday
Based in Derby
Closing Date: Sunday 26th March 2017
Interview Date: Thursday 30th March 2017

Direct Help & Advice (DHA) is an exciting, fast-paced and diverse Charity seeking to appoint a new Head of Finance to ensure an effective full financial management accounting service is delivered to meet the Charity and Trading Company’s goals in line with our strategic plan.

You will be a Qualified Accountant (ICAEW, ACCA, CIMA or equivalent) with experience of the non-profit sector and accounting for a charity. You will possess a strong track record of leading a finance department with the ability to think and work at a strategic level and drive forward change often in very challenging circumstances.

As a senior role reporting directly to the CEO, you will assist in leading on financial change and help drive activities and organisational efficiencies that will help grow and deliver the needs of the charity. You will need the ability to present financial information in an engaging way with effective decision making and be able to influence and engage others both internally and externally to the organisation. You will also be a team player, able to form good working relationships with your colleagues.
The successful candidates duties will include:
 Contributing to the Charity’s business development strategies
 Provision of financial forecasts, budgets and KPIs
 Monthly management accounts, KPI reports
 Monitoring and reporting of above to CEO, Board and senior management
 Management and delivery of the day to day financial support service.
 Statutory annual and quarterly accounts, VAT returns, etc.
 Payroll and pensions administration
 Maintenance of Finance & IT Risk Register and Disaster Recovery Plan
This is not a complete statement of all duties.

The post holder will also be required to co-operate with the Charity on all matters of compliance including Health and Safety, Safeguarding, child protection and welfare.
Please do not delay in getting your application in. DHA are keen to progress to interview ASAP and we are really looking forward to telling you more about this opportunity.
For an application pack please visit http://dhadvice.org/jobs/ or email: hr@dhadvice.org.

Completed applications should be emailed to hr@dhadvice.org or returned in an envelope marked confidential to Human Resources, Direct Help & Advice, Phoenix Street, Derby, DE1 2ER, to arrive no later than the closing date. CV’S WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.

Head of Finance – Advertisement

sinfonia                                                         viva1709 carers choir

Sinfonia Viva Launches Carers’ Choir

Derby-based Sinfonia Viva, the East Midlands’ only professional orchestra, is launching a new initiative to bring together local people who are carers for family  and friends.

The new Carers’ Choir will be open to people across Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire who will come together once a month to enjoy music and potentially have opportunities for performing.

The choir, which will be free to join, will be launched on Tuesday March 21, 7.30pm to 9.30pm at The Voicebox, Forman Street, when carers and support groups are invited to come along for a taster session.

The choir will be led by award-winning choral conductor David Lawrence who will introduce a selection of choral favourites, songs from popular shows and pop favourites.

The Carers’ Choir has been set up as part of Sinfonia Viva’s 35th anniversary programme – enabling more people than ever to experience creative music making.

As well as a packed concert programme across the region and beyond, Viva is aiming to work directly with 3,500 people over the next 12 months through a series of education and community creative projects.

The project has been made possible for a year with a £13,000 grant from the Bupa UK Foundation’s Caring for Carers Funding programme as part of its focus to help unpaid adult carers to support, manage and improve their own health.

To ensure its future, Viva has launched an anniversary appeal to encourage people to donate £35 to fund its increased education and community work – including the development of the Carers’ Choir

Sinfonia Viva Education Manager Marianne Barraclough explained: “We have a national reputation for working with communities to develop high quality and award winning engagement projects.

“Our work has included creating music with people in hospitals, hospices, schools, nurseries, special education needs settings, care homes, rural communities and in inner city areas.

“The success of our own community, education, choral and music making projects along with others both locally and nationally – from rock choirs to the famous Military Wives – show the popularity, appetite and benefits of shared singing.

“Singing together is proven to be an excellent way of boosting self esteem and confidence, releasing pain and stress-relieving endorphins and being a part of a team that is creating something.

“There is a significant number of people locally who are carers for family members from children with special needs to elderly parents and many more who are furthermore juggling work and caring responsibilities.

“There is widespread recognition that, as well as practical support, carers can feel socially isolated.  They greatly benefit from the opportunity to take a well-deserved break and enjoy a group activity.

“The Carers Choir is a natural progression for us as an Orchestra and meets the needs of an often hidden section of our local community.

“It is an opportunity to join like-minded people and enjoy the chance to try something new together in a relaxed and supportive environment.

“People don’t need to have any previous choral experience and David Lawrence is fantastic at helping people to find their voice.”

Sinfonia Viva is working directly with carer support groups and service providers across Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire to encourage people to join. However, anyone who is caring for a friend or relative – full time or part time whilst still working – is also invited to attend.

For more information, please contact Andrew Nesbitt at Sinfonia Viva, Tel: 01332 207602 or email andrew@vivaorch.co.uk

Derbyshire Carers Choir – eFlyer