||Daventry Volunteer Centre is one of the 400 Volunteer Centres across the country, and a member of Volunteering England (VE), the organisation that represents and supports Volunteer Centres . Historically Volunteer Centres were simply places where people could go for information and advice about volunteering opportunities in their area, and perhaps be referred to a specific organisation or group. The role of Volunteer Centres has changed over the years and those in England are very diverse. Some are located in the cities and some, like Volunteer Centre Daventry, are in the countryside. They may be run by paid staff or by volunteers, and some are open every day whilst others open for just a few hours a week.
There are however, 6 main core functions of all Volunteer Centres through which they provide support for individual volunteers and volunteer-involving organisations. The six core functions are:
- Developing Volunteering Opportunities - Every Volunteer Centre will work in close partnership with a wide variety of other agencies to develop volunteering. It will have a clear plan to realise the potential within the local community in which it operates. It will ensure that its services are accessible and will promote volunteering to specific groups of people who face barriers to volunteering. It will work creatively to develop imaginative non-formal opportunities for potential volunteers.
- Marketing Volunteering - Every Volunteer Centre will aim to stimulate interest in voluntary and community activity, and to do this it will promote volunteering in a number of ways
- Brokerage - Every Volunteer Centre will have a clear understanding of the role range and remit of voluntary activity and will hold a wide range of voluntary opportunities. It will offer potential volunteers support and advice in matching them with appropriate volunteering opportunities.
- Enabling Participation in Volunteering - Every Volunteer Centre will ensure that its services are accessible, and that it communicates clearly to individuals, organisations and groups at all levels. They will have close links with volunteer-involving organisations at all levels and will be actively involved in relevant networks.
- Good practice development - Every Volunteer Centre will work to increase the volunteering knowledge base of its own staff and volunteers as well as that of other individuals organisations and groups at all levels. It will develop and deliver training and accreditation strategies. It will regularly be contacted by other agencies groups and individuals seeking information about volunteering issues.
- Policy response and Campaigning on Volunteering - Every Volunteer Centre maintains an awareness of local regional and national government proposals and policies, and other issues that have an impact on volunteers. Volunteer Centres lead and/or participate in campaigns on issues that affect volunteers and volunteering.They also campaign for increased awareness of volunteering and for a more volunteer-literate and volunteer-friendly climate.
The Daventry Centre is staffed by 4 full time paid employees and a number of volunteers who regularly help in the office.
In addition to supporting local voluntary and community organisations Daventry Volunteer Centre also runs projects to help meet local needs. The "Brushes and Spades Project" (Gardening, Decorating and DIY for people who are Elderly or have a disability) helping volunteers with support needs, the "Happy at Home Partnership" project, helping to reduce social isolation in the elderly accross Daventry and South Northants, and the "Daventry District Time Bank", which is a Time Banking project, bringing people together to exchange their skills.
The Centre is managed overall by a Management Committee, who are also volunteers. The Management Committee is comprised of a Chair, Treasurer, Secretary, Agency Representatives, Volunteer Representatives, and Advisory Members. The Management Committee meet together every 6 weeks, and are responsible for the overall management of the Volunteer Centre.