This month we launch Vtues for the purpose of liberating people so they CAN volunteer for causes they care about. We will be connecting our first charity and CIC members with socially-conscious businesses and 'liberated' volunteers. We will reach those in Worcestershire, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Warwickshire, Wiltshire, West Midlands and Bristol but will very quickly expand into the rest of the UK as we develop reward systems for individuals and companies who give their time and energy. ...see more
Over the last few weeks we have engaged with so many great organisations who focus on important issues including nature preservation, domestic and sexual abuse, animal welfare, disability, community, waste-reduction and child protection. All of whom depend on volunteers to achieve their purpose.
I personally volunteer time for a number of charities including, very recently, The Farm Animal Sanctuary (patron Joanna Lumley OBE) with my partner. The Charity was founded by Janet Taylor in 1993 and over the last 25 years she has rescued many thousands of animals from abuse and neglect with 500+ currently under her protection. We give general support including tidying, gardening and sorting out donated items to sell. We have also raised money from organising a car boot sale and offered our individual skills as required.
Now, the Farm Animal Sanctuary is situated less than 2 miles from our home yet, despite our physical closeness and the fact that we are dedicated animal supporters, it took us nearly 3 years to reach out to them. For all of that time we had been subject to critical barriers that had prevented us from helping sooner.
The first barrier was that there had been no communication channel through which to fully fix the Sanctuary in our consciousness, the second was that the opportunity to volunteer there had to be sought out with effort from ourselves and the third was that we would need to define and carve-out time from our busy lives in order to help.
There is no fault here on either ours or the Charity’s behalf. These awareness and time barriers exist universally and are reflected on in a number of sector studies. The latest Community Life Survey conducted by DCMS (a government survey of over 10,000 representative participants across the UK) revealed that more than 66% of 25 – 65 year olds do not regularly or formally volunteer because of work commitments. Additionally, 24% of those who do not volunteer said they don’t know of any groups to help or haven’t heard about any opportunities.
I am deeply inspired and excited that we are now on the verge of overcoming these barriers and Vtues exists for this reason. We will connect a huge network of volunteers, charities, social enterprises and businesses to not only drive up awareness of causes like Janet’s but to liberate people to help them. Vtues gives volunteers access to short-term, flexible, opportunities that they can to easily achieve around their existing commitments or through paid volunteering leave from supporting employers.
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