A joint meeting between the Sports and Leisure and Volunteer Committee was held on the afternoon of the 17th November with the aim of bringing together the work being developed on both the sports and volunteer strategies.
The five key focus areas agreed are
- Communicating and engaging with volunteers
- Internal and external partnerships
- Creating volunteer opportunities
- Inclusivity and diversity and governance and policy.
All feedback on these areas and the wider strategies was taken on board by Daisy and Lauren from Head Office and will be used to inform the future direction of the strategies.
The National Volunteer Awards were also covered during the meeting, and both the SLC and VC would like to thank those that passed on their feedback about the awards to their VC representative ahead of the meeting. All feedback was shared during the session and overall, there was strong agreement that awards should continue to be offered and that external awards should also be considered.
The awards nomination process was discussed, and it was acknowledged that this can be challenging and time consuming, so it was recommended that this was reviewed along with the criteria to ensure that awards are as inclusive as possible. Two new awards have been suggested and approved by those attending ‘Unsung Hero’ award and the ‘Wellbeing’ award and Head Office staff will explore these further. Further consideration will also be made into time/long service awards, instant recognition and a newcomer award following the feedback given during the meeting.
The Blueprint was the final topic for discussion ahead of the learning event. An update was given by Elaine, who outlined the work that the Volunteer Committee had done to build upon the initial proposal of the Board Working Group, with blueprint trials now up and running across the regions. Feedback was provided by some of the VC Representatives who shared how their trials were progressing, and it was clear that many are already taking proactive steps to collaborate and support their Areas through the blueprint discussions, working on the basis that a ‘member is a member’ and that their interests must be the focus of all plans.
Meet some of your Reps: Nicki Stowe, NE&Y Rep
"So I’m Nicki I’ve worked in the civil service since 1999 when I joined DWP as an AO. I joined in the days when you joined HASSRA and CSSC in your induction and didn’t really do much with it initially. I started my volunteering with HASSRA working my way up from local committee to regional committee where I then became regional vice-chair which I still am today for Yorkshire and I also joined the National Finance committee back in 2008 and I still serve on that as well. My journey into CSSC volunteering came about from the CSSC Games I was playing rounders for HASSRA back in 2009 and I noticed a team from Hull CSSC so when I came back to the office I looked and they were advertising for committee members. I joined the committee in late 2009 and took over as Chair at the AGM in 2010 and to this date I am still Chair of the now East Yorkshire Area Association.
I have served on the Regional Committee for CSSC as Sports Liaison Officer for a period of approx. 2 years and I am a regular event organiser and am really passionate about being inclusive and getting people involved and building capability in the Volunteer community. Alongside my volunteering I have progressed through my career getting up to SEO level in DWP and then in late 2014 I moved across to Ministry of Justice to work for the prison service. I was successful in promotion to Grade 7 in March 21 and can honestly say that alongside my professional capability within work the volunteering I have done both with HASSRA and CSSC has certainly helped give me experience to talk about in promotion boards and has helped me learn new skills.
When the opportunity came up in 2021 to apply to be the rep for Yorkshire & The North East on the National Volunteer Committee I felt it matched my skillset but also appealed to me in being able to have a voice and influence the way volunteering is done within CSSC and therefore I applied and was successful. Now I have been on the committee for a few month I am really enjoying it and feel it’s a really valuable tool to provide insight into CSSC and get that 2 way communication and I now can’t seem to stop volunteering as I have also applied for and been given a place on the Community Lottery Panel.
I have met so many great people throughout my volunteering for CSSC and learned lots of new things and it’s definitely helped my confidence and how I approach dealing with people so definitely a great decision and I intend to continue volunteering for as long as I can."