HELEN BURTON: Only one week to go until launch of Eastbourne Volunteers

Helen Burton SUS-160113-100959001

Helen Burton SUS-160113-100959001

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It is only one week until the launch of the Eastbourne Volunteers project that I have spent the last few months working on. The Community Hub is painted, the website is ready for information on volunteer opportunities and local organisations to be uploaded, the new community newspaper has gone to print. We had two wonderful volunteers start at the Hub on Monday to help to get the project ready, and they must have enjoyed it because they are both coming back on Wednesday!

I don’t think I’ve ever been so busy, but I’m loving it. We are very lucky in Eastbourne to have so many volunteer-led organisations that help our residents in various ways, and lots of them have helped with this project. So many local volunteers and organisers have provided invaluable advice, and in the last week I’ve attended two training courses that have been really helpful too. Wayfinder Woman organised a business masterclass on developing a social media marketing strategy. The session was led by Mina O’Brien from Ditzy Media and I think many local charities and community groups would also benefit from the information she gave us. Mina is running a similar session directed at community groups for 3VA on February 1. Full details can be found on the 3va website www.3va.org.uk

On Tuesday I started a course to help me attain a City and Guilds qualification in education and training. The course was organised by the Rovte project (Rural Outreach Volunteer Training Empowerment) at the Fellowship of St. Nicholas in St Leonards. Funded by the Lottery, they offer training for free to people in rural communities who will go on to arrange events and workshops which help to prevent isolation. That definitely covers me!

I’ll be spending one morning a week for the next few months learning how to teach other adults in the community, so watch out for workshops coming soon!

Also in the last week I joined the Eastbourne Chamber of Commerce for breakfast at the Hydro Hotel. I got up at crazy o’clock to attend the event and spread the word about Eastbourne Volunteers. The breakfasts take place twice a month at 7am for members of the Chamber, and I would recommend it to local businesses who want to network locally. There are also several lunches and evening events I am looking forward to, I just wish I had more time!

All of these events are organised in Eastbourne by volunteers who understand the importance of working with, and helping others. On the front page of the Eastbourne Volunteers website we have a diary of events which we will be keeping updated and we will also make sure upcoming events are on the Best of Eastbourne website and social media groups. www.eastbournevolunteers.co.uk Of course I will be writing about a lot of them in this column too! Being informed and connected is beneficial to us all, whether it’s for business, charities, community groups or just as individuals. For more info email eastbournevolunteers@gmail.com