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CSV Action Desk

CSV volunteers at BBC Radio Sheffield
CSV Volunteers at BBC Radio Sheffield

New Year New You?

By Andy Kershaw
CSV is Britain's biggest volunteering charity and it’s teamed up with the BBC in South Yorkshire to encourage you to take up voluntary work in 2007.

Volunteering Facts

22 million adults volunteer each year in the UK - that's 90 million hours of work a week!

Research says 11 million people would volunteer if asked... so we're asking!

Community Service Volunteers (CSV) was founded in 1962 by Mora and Alec Dickson who also founded the Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO).

CSV Action Desks work in partnership with the BBC in 36 BBC local radio stations. They broadcast appeals for volunteers, run awareness campaigns and promote lifelong learning. 

Voluntary organisations and charities across our region are looking for more time-givers, that's people like you who might want to use your skills, time and talent to help others.

It’s never been easier to volunteer your time.

Local volunteers in the spotlight
Volunteers in the media spotlight

CSV Action Desk producer at BBC Radio Sheffield Andy Kershaw says; “Volunteers can do almost anything. From helping an elderly neighbour with their shopping, to providing legal advice for a local charity, or working with young people outdoors on a community environmental scheme. There’s also arts, sports and heritage volunteering”

“Volunteers make a vital contribution to all aspects of community life and there are some useful benefits”, added Andy.

Benefits of Volunteering:

• Make new friends, meet new people
• Acquire new skills or experience
• Overcome boredom or isolation
• Make a difference to your local community
• Build your confidence
• Maintain good mental health

Thinking about volunteering your time?  Here’s some of the things you could do;

• Animal Welfare
• Arts and heritage volunteering
• Campaign volunteering
• Environmental and conservation volunteering
• Residential volunteering opportunities in the UK
• Sports volunteering
• Volunteering in health and social care
• Volunteering overseas
• Young people’s projects
• Advice Work with CAB or a local advice centre
• Your local School Governors
• Helping children learn to read
• Befriending Refugees or Asylum Seekers
• Local Hospice or Hospital Volunteering
• Volunteering in local museums, libraries or archives

Anita Grover

Anita Grover is a CSV Action Desk Volunteer at BBC Radio Sheffield.

"I started doing voluntary work back in my student days around being a very active member of student community action, and from 1980 to 1995 was very active.

"Back then, I worked on a number of schemes such as visiting an elderly person each week for a year to provide relief for a relative.

"I participated in the setting up of the 'community accreditation scheme' for a local health network and worked as a voluntary advice worker at Sharrow Citzens Advice Bureau.

"Then I was involved in the setting up and running of an Asian Women's helpline, and worked at Awaaz, Roshni and Ashiana centres in Sheffield.

"My first brush with local radio was with the Ethnic Minority team at BBC Radio Sheffield and I undertook live phone-ins on benefits and other entitlement issues.

"At the same time I was the secretary of the local Child Poverty Action Group and Chair of Sheffield Law Centre. I was very busy!

"I also worked voluntarily with MIND, the mental health charity at Middlewood Psychiatric Hospital in Sheffield running social skills groups for a group of patients, which gave me a valuable insight into the issues of mental health and mental illness.

"I had to give up my voluntary work in 1995 as I was working full-time and become a mother, so my priorities changed, and that's when I became involved with the Radio Sheffield Action Desk.

local volunteers
CSV Volunteers at BBC Radio Sheffield

"Volunteering is definitely a two-way process.  Obviously working in a business is very much motivated by making profits thus through my voluntary work I am putting something back into the community and to society as a whole."

Dave Cherry

Dave Cherry from Barnsley volunteers to help raise funds for Barnsley Hospice, a registered charity in South Yorkshire.

"It all started when I made a record called Stairfoot Roundabout about an iconic place in Barnsley. The CD sold 60 copies in the first three days and many people in the town were requesting copies of the CD.

"Jimmy Echo, the local club turn, who helps me with the CDs  put me in touch with the Barnsley Hospice.  His dad had been cared for there and while we were visiting him, I talked with their fundraiser Mark Perry who told me the hospice needed £14k every week just to keep going.

"I contacted Mark about the CD and he told me that they had nine Barnsley Hospice shops throughout the Barnsley borough. I knew that this would be a good outlet for the CD and of course could make them some money.
"I only work for the Barnsley Hospice charity. I don't really do any other type of voluntary work because I work during the day as an electrician with BT and am a CWU union official.

Andy Kershaw’s Top Tips for Volunteering

• Think about what you want from volunteering - new skills, fun, a chance to contribute to a cause?
• Think about what you have to offer - enthusiasm, work skills, life skills?
• Work out roughly how much time you have to give, and how many times a week or month. (Don't over-commit yourself to start with.)
• Browse! The best way to find out what's available is to do some searches on the do-it database:
• Remember that everyone can volunteer - whatever your skills, experience or background you should be able to find an opportunity.
• Ask questions - don't be shy about asking questions as you go through the process of applying for an opportunity.
• Just try it - often the most difficult part of volunteering is making the first move, so be brave!

Use the list above to help you decide whether you want to volunteer. If you have particular skills or experience and you want to use them to help a local charity or good cause that will always be welcome.

If you have management, financial or legal skills these are always in short supply.
However, you may have retired from your line of work and want to do something completely different and not too demanding.

You can also volunteer during the daytime or in the evenings or at weekends and many voluntary organisations welcome older or disabled people.

BBC interviews local volunteer Dave Cherry
Leanne Goacher talks to Dave Cherry

You may also want to check some or all of the following:
• Will I receive reimbursement of any expenses I incur?
• Will there be training /qualification opportunities?
• What variety will there be in the work?
• Will I receive support /supervision (someone to talk to regularly about how you are getting on)
• Will volunteering affect your benefits or pensions?

Each area of the country has a local volunteer centre which provides help and support at a local level for individual volunteers and volunteer involving organisations.

In South Yorkshire you can find these at:

Doncaster CVS Volunteer Bureau
Units 5 & 6 Trafford Court
South Yorkshire
Tel: 01302 343300
Fax: 01302 365 081
Opening Hours: M 10-2 , Tues 10-3, Thurs 2-7

Sheffield Volunteer Centre
69 Division Street
South Yorkshire
S1 4GE
Tel: 0114 249 3362
Fax: 0114 249 3361
Opening Hours: M-Th: 10-4

Volunteer Centre Barnsley
33 Queens Road
South Yorkshire
S71 1AN
Tel: 01226 295 905
Fax: 01226 206 580
Opening Hours: M-F: 9-4.30

Voluntary Action Rotherham
Durlston House
5 Moorgate Road
South Yorkshire
S60 2EN
Tel: 01709 829 821
Fax: 01709 829822

National Database of Voluntary Opportunities

You can also search a national database of 800,000 volunteering opportunities by logging onto and applying online.

CSV Action Desk and BBC Open Centre

Contact the CSV Action Desk at BBC Radio Sheffield for more information: 0114 267 5444 or email us to

CSV at BBC Radio Sheffield also provides free media awareness training for voluntary, community and faith sector groups.

For more details on latest course dates at the BBC Open Centre or training customised to suit your group:

Contact Andy Kershaw on 0114 267 549 or email

Want to volunteer your time tell us about yourself and your contact details and we'll do our best to match you up with an opportunity in South Yorkshire ( Please include your name, Post Code, telephone number and email adress)
Your telephone number:
Your email address:
Your age:
last updated: 13/03/07
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