An informal conversation and guide to the sometimes confusing world of volunteering.

Ain't what you's the people who make it

On Tuesday we hosted the final in our series of Ain't What You Say events to celebrate our tenth anniversary and I think we went out with a big bang!

We held a debate to find out how the government, third sector and private sector organisations are planning to deliver the Big Society.

The panel featured:

Nick Hurd MP - Minister for Civil Society, Cabinet Office

Paul Twivy - Co-founder, Big Society Network and CEO of Your Square Mile

Robin O'Kelly - Director of Corporate Communications, Everything Everywhere

and our very own CEO Helen Walker.

It was chaired by Polly Toynbee from The Guardian who, as someone who'd been a mentor on our Time Together project, spoke highly of TimeBank, which was so nice to hear. (As the resident PR and media girl I must say I was quite star struck by her!)

We're just updating our event page which will include a slideshow of the event, featuring Nick Hurd MP's speech, a film clip, a picture gallery and you'll also get to vote on some of the Big Society questions yourself. So watch this space.

But if you really can't wait to see what we got up to, I've selected some of my favourite pictures below. You can also search via our hashtag #timebank10 to see all our event tweets.

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It ain't what you say - it's the people who make it

As part of our tenth anniversary we are hosting a chaired panel debate to find out how the Government, Private and Third Sector organisations are planning to deliver the Big Society.

The keynote speech from Nick Hurd will be followed by a panel debate featuring:

Nick Hurd MP - Minister for Civil Society, Cabinet Office

Paul Twivy - Co-founder, Big Society Network and CEO of Your Square Mile

Robin O'Kelly - Director of Corporate Communications, Everything Everywhere

and our very own CEO Helen Walker.

The panel will be chaired by Polly Toynbee, Guardian columnist. Expect a lively and informative debate to ensue.

You can follow the debate live today from 4.30pm via the #timebank10 hashtag on Twitter.

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Whats in your tucker bag tonight?

Every night all the celebrities kept saying 'Im so hungry' on I’m a celebrity get me out of here but this isn’t just something that’s said in a land far away by some celebs or indeed by people across the developing world.  This is something that is happening right here.

13 million people live below the poverty line in the UK.

Every day here on our own doorsteps people are going hungry for reasons ranging from redundancy to receiving an unexpected bill.

Local Foodbanks provide a minimum of three days emergency food and support to people experiencing crisis in the UK and this year UK foodbanks are likely to feed up to 60,000 people nationwide, compared to 41,000 last year – that’s a heck of an increase!

So do you think you want to volunteer at your local foodbank?

Alternatively there are currently no foodbanks in the North East of England and only one in Scotland – so maybe you might want to help to set one up?

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International Volunteer Day (IVD) on 5 December

I know too many of my blogs are about specific 'days', but this one’s really important.

When I was a volunteer in Sierra Leone with Voluntary Services Overseas (VSO) I took part in a colourful parade on IVD to recognise and celebrate the contribution of volunteering to volunteers themselves and particularly to the community. I had never been more proud of being a volunteer.

Although another parade would be great, I want to take a minute to thank all the wonderful volunteers that take time out to do something for someone else all year round often without any recognition at all. I especially want to mention all the volunteers that have taken part in TimeBank's projects that we have got to know and worked with over the years, without them our projects would not be the sucesses that they are.

So go on... take a moment to celebrate and be proud of being a volunteer.

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World Aids Day-1 December

This World Aids Daytake action to tackle HIV prejudice and to protect yourself and others from HIV transmission. In the UK:

  • The number of people living with HIV has trebled in the last 10 years
  • More than 90,000 people are living with HIV
  • Over a quarter of people with HIV are undiagnosed
  • Over half of all people living with HIV are aged between 30 and 44, but there are significant numbers both of young people and older people now living with HIV.

There are lots of things you can do to get involved and show your support, you can attend an awareness raising event, wear a red ribbon, support a campaign, get involved in fundraising and of course volunteer

We recommend Body and Soul, the Food Chain and Dance4life

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The definition of volunteering

Internships, work experience, volunteering, voluntary work, working without pay in a profit making organisation – so can you tell me what is and what isn’t volunteering?

The London Volunteering Stakeholder Forum has published a document called The Principals of Volunteering which tries to answer and define what volunteering is and what it isn’t. 

Do you agree with these principles? 

Do you think they will help you to decide and understand what volunteering is?

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We're celebrating...

This week we’re excited to shout about 2 milestones in our Junction49 project;

  • the 8,000th person has registered to use our online community
  • the project is currently featured on the Orange RockCorps website as an innovative initiative facilitating great volunteering experiences.

Junction49 inspires and supports young people to set up and deliver their own projects, campaigns and events around issues that matter to them. If you’ve got an idea to improve your community and want some support to make it happen, get in touch with Sarah

Take a look at why Juliana, a volunteer claimes "Don't keep your dreams to yourself, tell someone and they can help make that dream come true.” 

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Breathe easy

If you're 18-25 and have asthma, or care for someone who has asthma in England then Asthma UK want to talk to you.

They're looking for volunteers to take part in a residential weekend not only to learn more about managing your asthma but also to help shape the work they're doing. For example, this will help with developing a scheme for young people that have asthma to support other young people with asthma.

It's a great chance to get your voice heard. The weekend will be happening in Manchester on 5-6 February 2011. It won't cost you anything more than your time either as they'll pay for accommodation, food and they will even cover travel costs to and from Manchester.

Find out on the website or for an application pack email Clare or you can ring on 020 7786 4989.

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