Volunteering Matters is funded by Derby City Council to provide services for children in care and includes their independent visitor service; children care council and an independent advocacy service.
Gill said she would tonight be speaking from the heart and was not here for money. Volunteering Matters is most successful and has around 30,000 who volunteer and are matched with a child or young person to meet up on a one-to-one basic once a fortnight. One week they may be ten-pin bowling or a walk in the park or the next week they may go out for a meal. Whatever activities the child or young person chooses to do they will have fun and have the opportunity to be with somebody who is independent.
In the Derby area there are 475 children in care and currently they now have 80 volunteers from 20 to 75 years old.
Their volunteers are given 2 days of training and the next course is planned for February. Currently just 25% of volunteers are male who provide that important male role model. Also just 3% of the population provides 80% of volunteers within the UK.
They are looking initially for a year’s commitment for a new volunteer and Gill spoke about some of their many successes with some becoming good friends after 10 years staying with them.
In the many questions from the club Gill said tolerance and patience was a prime factor and that time is the greatest gift any one can give.