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OCVA: Find out more about our new Volunteer Development Officer and her first three months at OCVA

April 26, 2023

Jenny at Larkmead School EventIt’s hard to believe I have been in post a little over three months. While I certainly spent the first few days feeling overwhelmed at my new commute, IT systems, processes and aspects of the role I have certainly settled in now.

Joining a smaller team has had many benefits, I haven’t forgotten anyones names, everyone is so happy to help and keen to see me succeed. Like a flower I feel myself blossoming in this role which centres around the thing I love most about community- volunteering.

I jumped right in with running the Volunteer Coordinators Forum and have run three so far with the rest of the year planned- including three face to face. While the pandemic shone a light on volunteering, and helped us to work in a very different way, I know those in the sector missed being face to face. Finding the balance between being accessible and approachable is important and I hope our travels around the county show I want to meet people face to face and bring people together physically.

I feel quite the expert on Oxon Volunteers now, and if anyone needs some guidance or support, please do email me. It is an incredible system and we are probably only using it at half capacity. But like any tool we need to make sure it is working for us, and I have edited some aspects in the hope it is again, more accessible.

Training is on the cards too, with my first course- Recruiting and Retaining Volunteers in May and Volunteers and the Law in September. I have again opted for a face to face training session as I feel this will help with group discussion and learning from each other.

2023 shines a light on volunteering in an extra special way as we prepare for the King’s coronation and The Big Help Out. Our webinar in March was well received and I hope helped people better understand the event and how they could be informed on getting involved. We are recording local events shared with us on our website, promoted in the weekly Pulse too.

And now I turn my head to Volunteers Week. Volunteer Now have captured the theme as Celebrate and Inspire and I hope we do this proud. I have plans for the week and the month will end with a celebration event at Oxford town hall. Nominations will open on the 9th May so do start thinking of who you want to nominate.

If you have any speakers to recommend or thoughts to share do get in touch.

Jenny Bowley


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Christmas Volunteering and Community Help Advent Calendar 2023
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