Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Tips for Recruiting Long-Term Volunteers

There are many business and organisations which rely heavily on volunteers.  Many charity and heritage organisations rely on volunteers. The Iron Bridge Gorge Musuem Trust is an industrial heritage organisation which runs ten museums and manages 35 historic sites in the Iron Bridge Gorge area in Shropshire. I have workedat Coalport China Musuem since 2004 when I was studying at university and offered myself as a volunteer.  The volunteering was very short, about a month, when a postion became available and I was offered it.  With my uni commitments it was arranged i could do a job share with someone.  I worked one day a week for a number of years before I had to give it up.  I still work there occasionaly, mainly when they have gaps in the rota that knowone can fill.  But even if this didnt happen i would carry on working there on a volunteer basis.  Why?  Because the job is fun for one, but also because the volunteers are treated with the same respect and acknowlegement as the paid staff.  Without the help of volunteers the trust would not be able to operate as it does today. Many of the volunteers have been there for many years so they are doing something right.

When it comes to recruiting long term volunteers, let’s be honest, it is hard to do. Getting volunteers on board is tricky enough but keeping them for the long term is even harder. So the questions I have tried to answer in this article are:  how do you increase the number of new volunteers?  How to increase the volunteer’s commitment to staying long term? How can you increase the effectiveness of volunteers?

Tip 1

If you run an organisation which relies heavily on volunteers as an employer or head of the organisation you need to make sure that each and every volunteer believes they are a valuable resource.  Act with them as you would a normal employee.  Give them praise when due and make sure you make it clear to them that the work they do is invaluable.

Tip 2

Think about what specific needs you want from volunteers and create titles. Make sure these titles are accurate descriptions of the work that needs to be carried out by that volunteer. Know what you have to offer and tell this to the potential volunteer.  Many organisations that use volunteers will offer lunch vouchers or transport costs.  Make sure this is made clear and the steps required obtaining these benefits.

Tip 3

Make sure they feel part of the team.  If you have employees in your organisation as well as volunteers make sure they are all treated the same.  You may need to hold a meeting with the paid employers to ensure they treat volunteers in the same manor.  Then whenever a general meeting is held make sure all volunteers are invited so they can have their say.

If your business needs young volunteers it will be worth signing up with the major social and professional networking sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn if you haven’t already.   Young people will find you faster also be able to share their experiences with their friends on link who may also want to join up as a volunteer.

Farsight Recuitment are a Construction agency for Derby and the Midlands offering Scaffolding Jobs UK and much more.

Monday, 23 January 2012

Diet Update

Diet is going well. Had another 1 1/2 pound weight loss today. I now only have 5 1/2 to reach my target of 11st 4lb. I got a lot of comments today as people think that I am at my target weight and worried that loosing any more will be too much. Well all my life people have told me I am skinny (which I haven't been, only when I was a teenager and dancing every weekend). Not surprisingly I find that it's only my friends who are far heavier than me that say this to me. There may have been times when I got a little too thin in my past but that would have been due to stress or worry.  If I am not happy rather than comfort eat I go the other way.  Anyway I love food too much to go without. Also I have always ate healthily and done exercise and being very tall helps. I can put on a stone without anyone noticing. Loosing another 5 pounds will not show to most people on my frame and I will still be in my healthy BMI scale. At the moment I am classed as healthily but at the top end of the scale. I just want to get to the lower end.

So please people, be happy for me and don't tell ME what I should be. Only I know what is right for me.

Women Achieving Dreams

If you want to read a book that will inspire and motivate you to make real change in your life click the link here Women Achieving Dreams.

You will also help other people as all funds of the book which cost $9.95 go to the non-profit foundation Girls Fight Back. The book is filled with stories from real women who had to dig down deep and make difficult changes or face real fears or deal with adversity to make their dreams come true.  My own story is in this book
which I hope will inspire other women.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Overhaul of ICT teaching

Maybe I will become a teacher one day after all.  I know I would make a good teacher but it was always going to be my back up plan if I couldn't find work in industry.  I don't like the way schools are run, hate the school curriculum and I don't think the pay is great.  But what I want in schools just isn't going to happen in my life time, so if I want to help others and make a difference in the way that only teaching can do, I will have to become a teacher one day.   After reading this maybe in the future I will consider it. 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-16515275

Royal Society offers ways to overhaul ICT teaching

The Royal Society has suggested ways the government can overhaul information and communications technology (ICT) teaching in schools.

It follows promises from Education Secretary Michael Gove to scrap the way the subject is taught currently.

The body, which oversees UK sciences, recommends dividing computing into distinct subjects such as computer science and digital literacy.

It said the government must do more to recruit specialist ICT teachers.

Government Cloud Strategy

This year the Government is joining the Cloud. The plan is to set up a G Cloud to provide services to public authorities and for half of Whitehall's new ICT spending to be in cloud services by 2015.

I think this is great news, just like BBVA signing up with Google. Cloud computing is the future for all businesses.

Click on Governments Cloud Strategy for more details.

Monday, 9 January 2012

Who is Jane Austen?

Jane Austen is a famous English novelist who lived from 1775 to 1817.  She wrote romantic fiction and is most known for novels Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Emma and Mansfield Park. All of her books were set among the English middle and upper classes and are notable for their wit and social observations.  Her books give insights into the lives of early 19th century women, and are still very popular today.

She was brought up in a close-knit family; her father was a clergyman and she six brothers and one sister.  She began writing in her teens. They lived in the village Steventon in Hampshire England until 1801 when they moved to Bath.  Then 4 years later they moved back to Hampshire.  In 1809 right up until the end of her life she lived in a 17th century house in Chawton, Hampshire.  Today the house is a small private museum run by the Jan Austen’s Memorial Trust.  She wrote Emma, Mansfield Park and Persuasion while she was living there.

Jane never married nor had any children.  She always published her work anonymously so she never really became famous until after her death. Most of her books received only a few published reviews and never became bestsellers.  Her novels very fashionable among many people but the critics at the time preferred the works of Charles Dickens and George Eliot. 

More recently her novels have been the focus on many adaptations.  The first film adaptation was the 1940 film Pride and Prejudice starring Laurence Olivier and Greer Garson.  Even more recently 1995 saw a great wave of Austen adaptations appear.  First was the Ang Lee's film of Sense and Sensibility.  The screen writer and actress Emma Thompson won an Academy Award.  Then there was a very popular miniseries by the BBC called Pride and Prejudice, which stared Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth.

Today Jane Austen is revered as much as any literary figure in history. She is that popular that there are tours where you can go and see the real inspirations and locations from her novels.  The movie locations of where they filmed Sense and Sensibility are also part of the tour and you can even visit the homes that she once lived in. There are many societies honouring the author and preserving manuscripts, letters and memorabilia of Jane and her family.  Fans can join these societies and receive newsletters and details of forthcoming events.

For more information on going on a Beatrix Potter Tour of the Lake District or the Jane Austen Tour which Brit Movie Tours offers.

Club 10 Award

Today I got my Club 10 Award which is a Slimming World award for losing 10% of your body weight.  It took me 10 weeks and am now sat here 1 stone and 4 pound lighter!  Feels rather good.  Only 3 pound to go, but if I can't fit into an old of jeans I will have I will want to lose a few more before I can say I am my target weight. 

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Lost a stone!

It has only took 8 weeks but I finally have shed a stone.  I have lost every week, and it was on Christmas week that I actually lost half a pound and hit my stone target!  It made my Christmas, especially after a big blow out at Frankie and Benny's on Christmas Eve and all the chocolate and cream I ate!

I am happy but expected to loose it quicker.  Everyone says its harder when you have less to loose and it takes longer but I can't see how. I think if I had consumed less syns and did more exercise I would have lost a good 3lb + a week which means I would be sat here with 1 1/2 stone off which was my target in the beginning.  But I am going through a lazy patch and need my choc syns!   But it proves you can loose weight without starving yourself or going without treats and you don't have to up your exercise.  Like anything in life, what you put into it will have an effect on what you get out of it.  If I had put more in (done exercise, had less syns) I would have got more out of it (lost more each week).