Our Annual Report is now available

We are delighted to be celebrating our 30th year at the heart of volunteering in Daventry District – although what a year this latest has been! You can read more about the achievements of the charity as a whole, the projects we run and the volunteers who make this all happen during what has been a challenging time for all.

The 2020-2021 Annual Report can be downloaded or viewed as a PDF (2mb)…

An afternoon of thanks at Daventry Volunteer Centre

Every June charities, community groups and national organisations take time to recognise the vital difference volunteers make to their local community during Volunteers’ Week. Here at Daventry Volunteer Centre we were delighted to be able to open our doors after many months and invite volunteers from across our projects in for a lovely afternoon tea from our New Street Cafe and for a much needed celebration.

Although lockdowns, rules and restrictions have varied and impacted the way people can volunteer throughout the year the passion and dedication displayed by our volunteers to help others never once altered.  

For our Happy@Home befrienders the restrictions meant they had to make the drastic change from face-to-face home visits and companionship to keeping their distance and picking up the telephone. Some also joined our amazing group of COVID-19 emergency responders and helped deliver countless prescriptions, bags of shopping and food parcels to those most affected by recent events. This desire to step forward and support others allowed us to reach out and help people who really had nowhere else to turn with tasks such as transport to hospital appointments, dentist trips, sending international parcels to help keep families connected, garden clearing and rubbish removal – all with a smile and acting as a vital link for people shielding to the world around them.

Our Clean and Green volunteers continued to keep Daventry beautiful and fight the mountain of used masks that started to appear around the town centre, while our Timebank members and Café volunteers supported each other from afar.

So to all of our volunteers and to anyone who has given their time to help their community over this challenging, difficult and at times uncertain period – Thank You! At a time where everything seemed to be pulling people apart you were the glue that helped hold people together.

Keeping Daventry Clean & Green

Earlier this month Daventry Volunteer Centre’s Clean & Green team donned their hi-vis and grabbed their pickers to help Southbrooke estate residents tackle litter hotspots.

The Great British Spring Clean is a national initiative by Keep Britain Tidy and the pick in Daventry involved local residents, the police, local housing associations, town rangers and our very own environmental heroes. Our Clean & Green volunteers mainly focus on Daventry Town Centre so it was great to be able to link up with other like-minded people and help keep the estate tidy, and plans were made to reach out and visit other Daventry estates to support individuals and groups who volunteer and patrol weekly.

Helping to tackle litter is a great way to volunteer your time as not only does it get you out of the house and exercising, but you can meet great people with a passion for the environment while immediately seeing the impact you’re having. The feel-good factor of someone coming past and saying what a difference you make is wonderful too, so if you see any of our Clean & Green team out and about, do say hello!

We are always welcoming new people to join us on our Monday and Friday picks around Daventry, so if you feel like enjoying a Summer day keeping your local area tidy we would love to hear from you.

A Rose of Northamptonshire

We are delighted to announce that Daventry Volunteer Centre’s Nicola Toms has been awarded a Rose of Northamptonshire in honour of her efforts during the current pandemic.

The award has been given by Northamptonshire County Council alongside the High Sheriff’s Office and Lord Lieutenancy and looks to recognise the unsung heroes who have been helping communities all across our county. Nicola, who manages our Happy@Home befriending project has been coordinating Daventry Volunteer Centre’s district-wide response, supporting our volunteers to help those affected by restrictions including those who are shielding or isolating.

“I am incredibly grateful and flattered that I was nominated for this award as a reflection for the work we have been doing here at DVC. None of this would be possible without the tireless and selfless efforts of our team of fantastic volunteers – in sun, rain and snow – for almost a year now. While this an individual award, I would like to share this with every one of our volunteers who have gone above and beyond to reach out and help those in need during this difficult time. You are all heroes!

So to our team of fantastic volunteers – Thank You! To find out more about the Rose of Northamptonshire Awards, or to nominate someone you know who has helped keep our community safe please visit the Northamptonshire County Council website.

Local Funding Opportunities

Charities, community groups and clubs of Northamptonshire! There are a number of funding opportunities open this month for local organisations to apply for. For more information on these services do contact the awarding body directly where possible, or get in touch with us at the Daventry Volunteer Centre to be added to our mailing lists….

Available funds

Yelvertoft Wind Farm Community Benefit Fund. The fund will support a range of charitable, educational, environmental and general community amenity projects to benefit residents in the local community around the wind farm site. This area includes Clay Coton, Crick, Lilbourne and Yelvertoft. Groups are able to apply for up to £7,000 or up to £20,000 for an exceptional project. For more information please visit NCF.uk.com  . The deadline for applications is 4th December 2020.

The Winwick Wind Farm Community Benefit Fund. Groups are able to apply for grants of up to £5,00 for projects that benefit residents in the parishes of Winwick, Cold Ashby, West Haddon and Guilsborough. The deadline for applications is 4th December 2020 and more information can be found through NCF.uk.com.

The Compton Fund supports arts, culture and heritage projects across Northamptonshire. The fund will offer awards between £500 and £5000 with the deadline for applications  More information included deadlines can be found online.

Northamptonshire Federation of Disability Sport Fund is a bursary scheme designed to support the county’s sports clubs, groups and non-profit organisations. The fund will offer grants of up to £1,000 for sport activities catering for any disability, sensory impairment and/or mental health problems. The deadline for applications is 4th December 2020.

Winter Well-being activities to protect and help older and vulnerable people in supported environments during the winter months. Grants are awarded for £250 and £5,000. The deadline for applications is 4th December.

and finally, Coronavirus Phase 3 Funding will be funding for recovery and response activities. The fund will be open from the 12th October. This will be awarded on a rolling deadline.

A visit of thanks from Chris Heaton-Harris MP.

Last week we were delighted to welcome our local MP, Chris Heaton-Harris down to our centre to meet a few of our fantastic volunteers. We are all so grateful to him for taking the time to show his support for the emergency help our volunteers have been providing the community. Chris spent some time talking with our volunteers, swapping stories and experiences of the situation so far and underlining how valued their efforts are to everyone.

We were also delighted that the Pharmacy Manager of Spackman & McKenzie’s was able to join for the morning of thanks. Their understanding and openness to involve volunteers to improve patient safety during this crisis has been a great help to our team and it has been a real pleasure to work with them so closely. As well as the Pharmacy Manager and Nicola Toms from DVC’s Happy@Home, Chris met our volunteers Shannon, Dan and Charlie – all pictured. We’ve mentioned how brilliant Dan is before, but Shannon and Charlie have been just as invaluable. Charlie has been a sea of calm, and has probably ‘done it all’ with us to help the local community (with very short notice at times!), while Shannon has been meeting and helping so many of her neighbours with prescription collections and food parcel drops from Daventry Food Bank, volunteering after her busy night shift at work.

No one thing will ever be able to provide enough thanks to all of our volunteers, but we hope the increasing recognition of their efforts is one small step.

More than just shopping…

Amanda from Happy@Home has been coordinating the Volunteer Centre’s Crisis Shoppers, so no one could have said thank you so personally and beautifully…

I am absolutely in awe of the wonderful Volunteers that have come forward in this time of crisis to help with shopping for the most vulnerable in their community. They are from all walks of life and no one is twisting their arms to do it – they give up their time freely and happily (whether furloughed, still working, been made redundant, retired or students). They have stood patiently in long supermarket queues come rain or shine, particularly at the beginning of the crisis, trying to get as many items off the list as possible, even when the shelves were stripped bare.

They don’t consider it a chore for themselves and so they don’t just drop the shopping and go. They are so warm hearted, cheery and caring that they stop to chat (at a safe distance), they check the person’s wellbeing, they ask if there is anything else the vulnerable need and they bring cheer to the frightened and lonely. These lovely Volunteers go out of their way to source scarce items whether that is flour or a particular wash in hair dye (let’s face it most people feel lifted when their hair is done!)

The Volunteers go above and beyond any expectations and over and over again I am amazed at their commitment to making a difference. Some are also telephone befriending the lonely and isolated too. No matter how late in the day a request comes in for an emergency food shop there are always Volunteers ready and willing to help.

The feedback from the vulnerable receiving the shopping service has been an overwhelming positive gratitude for the kindness and thoughtfulness of the Volunteers. Many have called them their lifeline and said that they are so relieved to have Volunteers shop safely for them during this crisis and look forward to seeing them each week.

It is a pleasure to work with these Volunteers who are a dedicated bunch of very special people with hearts of gold and they truly deserve our respect, appreciation and sincere thanks.


November 2019 Newsletter

We are pleased to share our latest newsletter for the voluntary sector in Daventry District for download.

Recent issues can be found on the website, but for previous issues or any questions regarding the newsletter please do get in touch with us at the Volunteer Centre.

DVC News November 2019 – [PDF]