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Volunteer Academy Launch March 1st 2017!


The Volunteer Academy model was the brain child of our Chair David Blower MBE and like all good things we've been slowly developing the model and our Volunteer Passport which were launched at the Better Start event in Blackpool's Winter Gardens on 1st and 2nd March 2017




Volunteers' Week 


Our own Eileen Wood and a trusty team of volunteers kicked off Volunteers' Week at Fleetwood Library with the theme of the war in rememberance of D-Day, a range of organsiations participated in the day which included a range of activities and fancy dress.




In Blackpool the week was started with a Thank You afternoon tea arranged by Blackpool Council and the Volunteer Centre at the beautiful Council Chambers with attendees from organisations across Blackpool, certificates where presented my the mayor.


NCompass had a fanastic open day for volunteers and a thank you celebration for their own volunteer team.  The week also saw several of the NCompass Volunteer Team recieve awards at the Wyre Together awards evening.


The Social Service volunteer team at Blackpool Council arranged a variety of events to recognise and say thank you to their own amazing volunteers, launching the week with a visit to Blackpool's new Illuminasia attraction



This was followed by a recognition event the next day with certificates presented for 1, 3, 5, 10 and 15 years of dedicated service.  The week was rounded off by a visit to a Blackpool Cabaret - sounds like fun!


Eileen and her team were back again at the end of Volunteers' Week, this time causing mayhem with an 80's inspired event at St Anne's Library, recognising 30 years of Volunteers' Week. Cue more fancy dress of course!


Great to see everyone getting involved...


...Perhaps he's not sure about the hat!








The Pop up Village might be gone but the pledge lives on! -


Wow what a day and what a great event.  The sun was shining, the crowds where out, musicians where playing and volunteers came from far and wide: Birmingham, Leeds, Burnley, Manchester and across the local area to give their time and knowledge to support mental health awareness. 



Sue from Time to Change with the Blackpool Unicorns


The day was brought together by Darren Bee of the Richmond Fellowship and Karen Machin from Time to Change with support from Blackpool Council and included organisations:


Lancashire Police

The Volunteer Centre BWF (of course!)




Grundy Gallery

Blackpool Wellness Service

Lancashire LGBT

And many more...


Even a couple of friendly dogs (Ronnie & Charlie) wanted to lend a paw!

The Time to Change Village provides an interactive experience with shops, a cafe, a post office and village green plus music, singers, dancers, a flash mob, face painting and more, creating a fun and relaxed atmosphere in which to start conversations about mental health.


The day was a challenge for a number of the volunteers who were apprehensive in particpating and discussing their own experience with others, one volunteer was surpirsed at her own confidence in discussing mental health with an individual with a negavity perception.

'I was really nervous, even during the training i didn't think i could do it, even coming today i didn't know until this morning, i wanted to help but it's hard to talk about your own experiences, which is why i thought i should and i can't believe i've just done it, i've just had the confidence to challenge one guy's perception of those with mental health issues, i was confident but polite, in the end he ended up backtracking and trying to apologise!'


Many of the other volunteers had similar reasons for particpating in Time to Change, whether personal experience or knowing someone close to them, the passion and commitment of those volunteering was inspirational, it gave energy to the event and a sense of camaraderie that was felt by all those involved in the day.



Time to Change Pop Up Village is coming to Blackpool, St John's square 23rd August 2013 - Be part of it!

Time to Change

The Richmond Fellowship and Time to Change are bringing the interactive Pop Up Village to Blackpool on Friday 23rd August 2013 - and we're looking for 60 volunteers from the Blackpool area to join our team.

The Time to Change Village is an interactive space that has all the things you might find in villages and towns across the world: a healthc entre, library, cafe, post office, cinema and news agent.  With each part of the village providing a unique opportunity to engage the public in conversations about mental health, whilst there are a range of fun activities.


The Blackpool Time to Change Village is involving the whole community and has support from a range of organisations including Blackpool Council, agencies including mental health services, community members and the Volunteer Centre.  Members are helping to shape this event from the planning of the day to the variety of acts and activities.


Do you live in or near Blackpool?  Would you be willing to talk about your own mental health experiences to help break down stigma?


We need you to make a difference.  Can you spare just one day or even just a few hours to support this fantastic event?  Whether you already volunteer, work at one of the fantastic third sector organisations or are part of a business or public sector organisations.  If you have personal experience of mental health you can make a real difference by helping to start those conversations, helping to challenge the prejudices and stereotypes which often lead to discrimination.


Be part of Blackpool's Pop Up Village!

For more information contact the Volunteer Centre BWF on 01253 301004 

Or register via: Do-it


Richmond Fellowship




June 2013

The start of event season - download our wordfile for further contact details - Events in June

  • 1st - 7th June Volunteers Week
  • 2nd June The Big Lunch
  • 3rd June Volunteer Garden Party for the VC team
  • 8th - 9th June Blackpool Pride Festival
  • 14th - 16th June Civic Trust Scarecrow Festival
  • 15th June Aspired Futures Summer Fete
  • 22nd June Civic Trust Winter Gardens Marketplace event

 If you have any events please let us know.


May 2013

We are busy planning all the June events, shown above. But we did have time to support the Blackpool 10k Fun Run on Sunday May 12th 2013.

 Some of the VC fun runners

We also had our bi monthly team meeting and celebration of the achieving IIV and VCQA.  This is only just over half of the team!

A team pic 2013

April 2013

Fantastic news, we are 1 of only 8 Volunteer Centres to successfully win the Nesta Innovation in Giving Bid.  The IiG fund was designed to support improvements in efficiency and effectiveness for volunteering. See our vimeo for further information.

We also held our Volunteer Coordinators Network Meeting at Claremont First Step which was extremely well attended by a range of organisations.


January 2013

Jan 18th -

Radio ga ga - Managed to get our second interview on the tea time slot of Radio Lancashire (hugely grateful for the mention!) listen at 1 hour 34 mins to hear our brief talk about volunteering - managed not to tell off anyone this time!


Jan 17th -

Did you see our brilliant volunteer advisor Mandy on this morning's Radio Lancashire?  The breakfast show was all about volunteering, you can listen on iplayer to the show again or check out 2hours 10mins to hear our Mandy!

Claire, Mandy & Helen Radio Lancashire


Happy New Volunteering Year 2013 - Lots of new exciting programmes on the Horizon:

  • Fantastic new Blackpool Heritage Champion projects and a newsletter coming soon!
  • Skills for you, offering Step Up AQA, Mentoring AQA and the new
    'Preparing for Universal Credit' course (2 AQAs!)
  • Bespoke training and support via the Volunteer Academy
  • The up and coming Volunteer Charter
  • And much much more!

December 2012

Wow, where did the year go?  Lots of exciting things to report on:

Blackpool's Big Thank You went down a storm, thanks to all the fantastic support of Blackpool Council, The Winter Gardens team, The trio of singers and a great compere!  A special thank you of course to the wonderful Elaine Smith, our champion speakers and all our fantastic voluteer organisations who took part and of course generous time and contributions of the volunteers! 2013 planning is already underway so watch this space.

Employer Supported Volunteering Project is well underway

The Volunteer Academy a great central resources for training and volunteer good practice is building up steam, look forward to hearing more in the New Year regarding tailored courses, a new PSE qualification, research, forums and more.


September -Autumn's coming and so is the party season!

Is it really that time of year again? Summer might be over and the schools are back, but now is a great time to think of doing something new.  Why don't you turn over a new leaf? (excuse the autumnal pun) see what's going on in your community, join a group, help a friend or neighbour, learn new skills, share existing ones.  You have your own experiences to share and we would like you to start with us - Come into the Volunteer Centre today and see how you can help in the local area, you'll be amazed at the variety of ways you can volunteer and the different skills you can learn and friends you can meet.

Blackpool's Big Thank You - FREE Celebration for Volunteers! -

We are well on the way with organising and planning a fantastic FREE party and award event for Blackpool's Volunteers.  With huge thanks to Blackpool Council and the Winter Gardens, registeration for the event will start soon, so don't miss out!

If you'd like to help support the event in any way please contact the Volunteer Centre today!

August - Courses Fully Booked!

Our courses for Volunteers are very popular and due to our small class sizes, designed to give you a better experience, they quickly get booked.  Our next available courses are starting in September, this includes: Volunteer mentoring and STEP UP to Volunteering.




We had a super busy June, helping to promote and engage volunteering through:

Big Jubilee Lunch

Volunteers' Week

Claremont gala

Tea Party

Civic Trust Day

Civic Trust Scarecrow Festival


In addition to other events/conferences where we could provide a voice for Volunteering.   



Amtech Group