We are pleased to announce the launch of our Volunteer Hub: a one-stop shop where our customers can go to learn about volunteering with us.
Spearheaded by Marian Patterson, the Group's Volunteer Coordinator, the new Volunteer Hub features volunteering opportunities that customers can apply for, profiles of some of our volunteers, FAQs, and advice to guide and inspire our customers at every step of their volunteering journey.
Marian is responsible for coordinating the Group’s 150+ volunteers, ensuring they have the training and support they need to be fulfilled and productive in whatever volunteering roles they do.
Here she talks about why she launched a Volunteer Hub and what inspires her about Southern Housing Group’s volunteers.
Why did you decide to launch a hub for volunteers?
After talking with some of our customers, I found they didn’t know where to go to find volunteering opportunities. The information we had wasn’t as accessible as it could be, and didn’t contain a great deal of information about what each role required. The new Volunteer Hub is a much clearer way for customers to access information about the volunteering roles we offer, how they can get involved, and what they can get out of it.
What can people get out of volunteering?
Volunteering offers so much for everyone. Volunteers can gain valuable experience and skills, meet new people, and really make a difference.
With all our volunteers, we provide an induction and allocate a supervisor who can give support and guidance. We also provide free training and mentoring if required, and some of our roles offer qualifications that volunteers can use to get them started on a whole new career.
What new volunteering roles do we have coming up?
As well as the roles we currently have available, we’re developing new ones all the time. At the moment, we’re looking for young people interested in becoming an electrician, plumber or administrator to take part in 12 week voluntary placements designed to help them get started on a new career path. We’re also working with the Royal Voluntary Service to develop befriending roles in some of our sheltered schemes.
We have a flexible approach to volunteering and I’m keen to help customers who have ideas of their own create opportunities for themselves. If there is anything they might be interested in or see a need to help with, I can work with them to develop a volunteering role around that.
So I’d encourage all customers to keep checking the hub, get in touch, and let me know their ideas.
Why did you decide to work in volunteering?
I get so much out of working with volunteers. Before joining Southern Housing Group, I worked with the Citizen’s Advice Bureau, supporting volunteers with their training. It was so rewarding watching trainees’ confidence grow and seeing the passion they have for supporting people who would otherwise not get the help they needed.
Volunteering can bring communities together and achieve things that improve people’s lives. It gives people new experiences, skills, friends, and confidence.
What do you like most about working with the Group’s volunteers?
I really like setting up different volunteering projects and seeing the end results. I've enjoyed aligning our volunteering policies with current legislation, and developing partnerships with other organisations to strengthen what we offer to our customers.
Ultimately, my favourite part of what I do is the volunteers themselves – seeing how much they’ve grown from their experiences and helping them get there. One volunteer who has really stood out for me is Michael, who volunteers at our Quarr Abbey gardening project on the Isle of Wight; he’s really enjoying his volunteering and has gotten so much out of it.
You can visit our Volunteer Hub here. If you’d like to contact Marian with any questions, she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 07590 962 018.
Volunteer Coordinator Marian Patterson
For all enquiries, please contact:
Mary Weeks Communications Manager Southern Housing Group 0207 553 6841