Guest column: Extra support now on offer to volunteers

Heather Arnatt, area co-ordinator for Voluntary Services Centre in West Lindsey
Heather Arnatt, area co-ordinator for Voluntary Services Centre in West Lindsey

As we approach the end of the year it is a good opportunity to reflect on what has been achieved, and set some goals for the coming year.

One of my major projects this year has been to develop a new website to promote volunteering support services in Lincolnshire.

Working with our colleagues at Lincolnshire Community & Voluntary Services (LCVS), Voluntary Centre Services West Lindsey (VCS) has created a new single point of access information website for community and voluntary organisations operating across Lincolnshire.

Until now, all of our services were advertised separately, causing confusion and frustration if you were at the edge of a district.

The new website – – offers self help tools for community groups, advice and support for volunteers and importantly, contact information for the real people who deliver services in our local communities.

Visitors to the site will also be able to find training sessions and local events, read the latest news from the voluntary sector and promote third sector job vacancies, for a small fee.

Alongside the range of existing services, the partnership has secured access to a number of free online training courses, relevant to the community and voluntary sector which are now available to access.

VCS and LCVS operate Lincolnshire’s seven accredited volunteer centres and were able to work in partnership to secure funding for the new website from Lincolnshire County Council and the Transform Foundation, a charity consortium that aims to improve the digital presence of charities across the UK. 

We are really excited to be working collaboratively on this project and we hope it will help to relieve the financial burden on some of the smallest charities in the area to meet some of their training and support needs.

Over the next 18 months, we will continue to develop and strengthen our face-to- face training offer to offer the most relevant programmes to our Lincolnshire communities.

The site, which is now live, also provides information about micro-volunteering; a new approach to volunteering which allows volunteers to offer just 20 seconds of their time to make a difference to the local community.

A live volunteering search function is currently in development for launch in early 2018.

Visit the new site to find out more.