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.

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.

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.