The Daventry District is a large, mainly rural area of 257 square miles in the South West of Northamptonshire. It is the largest district in the County, but has the second smallest population (Corby has a slightly smaller population), and the lowest population density per hectare. It is made up of 74 parishes plus the expanding town of Daventry, where around 25,000 of the Districts 77,843 population live (2011 Census data). Daventry is a market, shopping and administrative town, and is the District’s main employment centre. More than half of the District’s 78 villages have a population of less than 300, while the three larger villages of Brixworth, Long Buckby and Moulton each have a population of more than 3000. The residents form 31,647 households, 74% of which are owned, 14% are social housing and 12% are privately rented. The population is expected to have risen by 7.9% by 2021. The fastest growing age bracket is those aged 60 64 years and the Daventry District Council had produced an Older Persons Strategy to implement services to meet the needs of the increasing older population of the district.
The Voluntary and Community Sector Membership of DVC includes around 280 local groups. Members are offered capacity building support (funded through Northamptonshire County Council) plus good practice information and advice, information on the DVC website and a link to their organisation, regular information e-bulletins including consultations, funding information, and access to free or low cost training opportunities, the quarterly DVC Newsletter, and membership of the Daventry VCS Forum.
Area Volunteering Profile
Volunteering England’s five core functions are:
- Strategic Development of Volunteering - Through the activity of the Volunteer Centre and its engagement with local networks and decision makers there is a positive environment in which volunteering flourishes.
- Good Practice Development - Through the activity of the Volunteer Centre organisations from all sectors (involving or providing volunteers) improve or attain positive consistency in their volunteering programmes.
- Developing Volunteering Opportunities - The Volunteer Centre’s development activity increases and improves the quantity, quality, and diversity of volunteering locally.
- Voice of Volunteering - Through the Volunteer Centre’s activities there is an increased awareness of the issues impacting on volunteering.
- Brokerage - Through the Volunteer Centre’s activities the general public and all sectors are better informed about, and have access to, an effective and efficient brokerage service. Both individuals and groups interested in volunteering are matched with appropriate opportunities in the local community. Volunteer Centres hold information on a comprehensive range of opportunities and offer potential volunteers support and advice matching their motivation to volunteer with appropriate volunteering opportunities.
DVC promote all aspects of volunteering and recruits volunteers for local not for profit organisations and charities. The main office is located in the Daventry library and is the first port of call for anyone interested in becoming a volunteer. The office is an information point holding a wide range of information about local services. It also deals with requests for gardening decorating and DIY from elderly or disabled people and referrals from the Happy at Home Partnership and Daventry District Timebanking projects.
The DVC acts as a local infrastructure organisation for the voluntary and community sector, offering support to help build their capacity such as giving funding advice, running the Daventry VCS Forum, offering training , helping new groups with start-up information, promoting good practice for volunteer involving organisations and providing information and advice.
In addition to supporting local VCS organisations Daventry Volunteer Centre also runs volunteer involving projects to help meet local needs.
The "Brushes and Spades Project" which offers Gardening, Decorating and DIY help to elderly or disabled people without family support. The project engages volunteers with support needs to help deliver the project whilst developing their skills and feelings of wellbeing.
The "Happy at Home Partnership" project which helps to reduce the feelings of isolation in the elderly across Daventry and South Northants by providing information and access to local services, and volunteer visitors.
The "Daventry District Time Bank" project which is a community mutual help scheme using the sharing and exchanging of volunteer skills. Volunteers are rewarded with “credits” for donated skills, e.g. dog walking, babysitting, book keeping, DIY etc. which they can use for themselves, or donate back to the Time Bank for others who need them.
The "Daventry Advicelink" project, which is a partnership project with the Daventry Citizens Advice Bureau, Home Start and Time 2 Talk (young people’s counselling) funded for 2 years by the Big Lottery Transition Fund to promote local services and increase access to them for local people and recruit volunteers for local advice organisations to help them to increase service delivery.