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12 CIC Annual review 2010/2011

Experience - CIC Volunteer Programme

This year, CIC launched our own volunteering programme “Experience”. Volunteer Co-ordinator, Helen Laycock, tells us all about it.

“Joining CIC, my first task was to develop a comprehensive volunteer programme which would promote the many volunteering opportunities there are available throughout the CIC Group.

Although we’ve already got lots of amazing volunteers, it was important for us to get a proper programme drawn up, which set out our goals for volunteering and also put a proper support structure in place for the people who so generously donate their time to us. By doing this, we can make sure that the CIC volunteer experience will be one which benefits everyone – volunteers, staff and service users. At the moment, the programme is running just across the North West, although we will be looking to roll this out across the country next year.

We decided to call the programme Experience because for us, that’s what volunteering is all about. Whether you are student looking for work experience, retired with some time on your hands and looking to share your life experiences, or just someone wanting to meet new people and have a new experience, volunteering can deliver all of that and more!

One of the most unique things about the whole programme is that the opportunities are endless. Because CIC is such a large organisation, with so many different facets to it, we can offer a range of different volunteer experiences, depending on what each volunteer is looking for. So you might want to be more involved with the care side of our organisation, perhaps spending time in one of our senior care homes, or maybe

you are a bit of a business brain and want to learn more about the workings of a big national organisation like CIC.

I’d say that communication and social skills are high on the list of benefits for the individual volunteer, because volunteering usually takes people out of their comfort zone, gives them the chance to meet new people and perhaps see things from a different perspective. Practically, it can be a great opportunity to test drive a career, to learn more about the sector you want to work in, or for students, it can be a great first step on the career ladder, as it was for me. It’s also a great confidence booster as you will find yourself doing things you’ve never done before, all the while knowing that you are doing something worthwhile. There isn’t one special type of person that makes a good volunteer. Provided you enjoy working with people, are willing to learn new things and be part of a team, then volunteering is for everyone. Volunteering naturally brings people together because it’s a sharing experience – sharing skills, talents and perspectives, and that makes it open for everyone.

Volunteering really can be as wide as your imagination.”

Anyone wanting to get hold of a volunteering info pack, or an application form, can email Helen at or call her on 0151 423 7232. Just get in touch!

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