Adur, West & East Worthing Party including East Arun

New volunteer website launched

West Sussex County Council and the West Sussex Council for Voluntary Service Network (CVS) have launched a website supporting volunteering in the county.

‘Skillshare West Sussex’ promotes volunteering opportunities of between one day and two weeks duration. Social enterprises, voluntary organisations and community groups can use the website at www.skillshare-westsussex.org.uk to advertise their volunteering opportunities and these can be matched against the skills and availability of registered organisations and individuals.

County Council Deputy Leader Lionel Barnard, who has responsibility for enterprise, said: “The County Council recognises the value of promoting volunteering and of supporting both host organisations and volunteers to find opportunities suitable for them.

“The new website will complement many initiatives run by businesses, including the County Council’s own Employee Volunteering Scheme, which aims to encourage and support staff to take part in volunteering schemes that contribute towards active and independent communities.”

Kate Scales, Chief Executive of Voluntary and Community Action Chichester District, which manages the website, said: “Voluntary and community groups across West Sussex rely on the support of volunteers, but we appreciate not everyone has the time to commit to long term volunteering placements.

“This scheme aims to attract a new audience to volunteering and to support local communities with employee volunteering schemes to find placements for their staff. And as the slogan says, giving a little means a lot.”

The scheme has been designed to run alongside the service provided by the Volunteer Centres. But whereas the Volunteer Centres focus on longer term placements, the website will focus on short term opportunities. The site also enables organisations to showcase their volunteering achievements.

Natures Way Foods Ltd, from Selsey, was the first company to sign up to the new initiative. The company’s 500 employees are given one day a year to volunteer in their local community.

Its Community Partnership Advisor Nicky Upton said: “The Skillshare website is the perfect exchange platform between local community groups and businesses. Employees have the opportunity to use and share their skills in projects outside the workplace, benefiting from team building experience and meeting new people while at the same time giving something back to their local community.”

The photograph shows volunteers from Natures Way Foods Ltd supporting Seal Primary School in Selsey to rebuild their Garden Club vegetable patch.

www.skillshare-westsussex.org.uk has been commissioned by West Sussex County Council and is run by the Council for Voluntary Service (CVS) network in West Sussex. It can be used by:

·          Businesses with a volunteering programme or corporate social responsibility policy
·          Adults interested in volunteer work in their community
·          West Sussex voluntary organisations, community groups or social enterprises with vacancies
·          Students aged 18 and over

For more information about the project contact Kate Scales, Chief Executive of Voluntary and Community Action Chichester District on 01243 528615 or e-mail kate.scales@vcacd.org.uk.