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Community First's Help and Support Directory is an easy to use directory of local community services. It has been created to help people connect with support services and community groups where they live.
On 12th February seventy-five Volunteer Managers from charities and communities across the area attended the first Volunteer Managers Network meeting at The Plaza, Havant Borough Council. This is a new forum, set up by Community First, which will enable staff from not-for-profit organisations to listen to topics relevant to their work, as well as allowing them to network with colleagues and share best practice.
At this first meeting Dr Debra Gray, Reader in Social Psychology at Winchester University, talked about the results of her research into the volunteering experience. This helped attendees gain an understanding of volunteer motivation, so helping to improve their volunteer recruitment and retention as well as outcomes for volunteers themselves.
One of the key themes to emerge was that ‘social connection’ was key to people wanting to volunteer and that there are various stages in life, called ‘transitions’, when people are more likely to volunteer e.g. retirement, moving to a new area or bereavement.
Julie Eden, Volunteer Service Co-ordinator for Community First commented, “Dr Gray’s presentation was thought provoking and generated a lot of questions from the audience. We are also pleased with the very positive response from volunteer managers on setting up the new forum.” Further workshops on the volunteering experience have been arranged by Community First in Eastleigh, Lyndhurst and Farnborough. The next Volunteer Managers Network meeting will be held in the autumn.