The volunteers carry out all sorts of tasks – some help in our shops; others sort and check the shoeboxes; some drive for us or help out in the warehouses; others sort through donated goods or help with administration and fundraising. We value all the help that we receive from volunteers and are grateful to anyone who is willing to offer us some of their time.
There is no obligation to commit to a specific day or time, although many of our volunteers do help out at the same time every week. Even a couple of hours once a month can make a big difference. Or you may wish to help with a specific event or project. Whatever time you can spare and wherever your interests lie, we would appreciate your help.
If you feel that you don’t want to come along on your own, why not encourage a friend to join you? Volunteering can be hard work, but it is also very sociable and a chance to make new friends.
You also have the opportunity, through your contribution, to make a real difference to the lives of people all over the world.
All volunteers are required to complete a short volunteer application form, giving two referees, and also to agree to our volunteer policy. We then hold a short, informal interview with the applicant and contact the referees by phone. If both the interview and the references are acceptable, the volunteer is free to start with Blythswood. The procedure is very simple and straightforward.
(Please note that this form can be returned to your local depot or shop if that is where you would like to help)
Blythswood volunteers play an integral part in all aspects of the work of Blythswood Care.
Blythswood operates with just around 100 staff but we have over 1000 volunteers. Without these volunteers we could not help as many people as we do.
You may wish to consider, as a Church group, adopting one of our projects. This would mean that you are kept updated on the project and become involved in fundraising, visits and volunteering. At present we have a church in Lossiemouth which is linked with Project Joseph in Romania and a church in Dundee linked with God Loves Albania.
You may also wish to think about becoming a Blythswood Care Support Group. A Support Group helps through fundraising and raising awareness at a local level.
There are no guidelines laid down as to what a Support Group should be doing; it is very much up to the size of the group and how they feel they can best contribute. Some meet very informally, other have a formal structure with office bearers and regular meetings. Even as few as three or four people can form a Support Group and it is up the group itself to decide what they want to do.
A Blythswood representative can come out and give you an illustrated talk if you would like to hear more about our work. Often this encourages others to join with you and gives you ideas of areas of our work, or particular needs, which appeal to you and where you would like to help.
Blythswood Care ensures that all Support Groups are updated and kept in contact. We are very grateful for their regular and loyal support for our work.
We have support groups around the UK who organise local events for us. If you are interested in joining a group or starting one up please contact your area fundraising manager.
There may already be a Support Group in your area which you can join.
At present we have Support Groups in the following locations –
Buckie, Caithness, Capel Fron, Clevedon, Dundee, Fort William, Gairloch and Aultbea, Hawick, Inverness, Irvine, Isle of Skye, Kyle of Lochalsh, Lampeter, Isle of Lewis, Lochcarron, Northern Ireland, Partick in Glasgow, Perth, Peterhead, Prestwick, Redruth, Selkirk, Worthing.
Could you get a group from your church, school, Girls Brigade, Boys Brigade, Guides or Scouts - or simply just a group of friends - involved in our work?
There are many ways in which you can help – organising a local Shoe Box collection, sorting shoeboxes, collecting clothes, holding a fundraising event, collecting spare change, selling Christmas cards, taking goods to the Round Scotland lorry.
You may also wish to take part in an external charity event, such as the London marathon, and we would encourage you to remember Blythswood when you are participating in such events and to consider adopting Blythswood as your charity.
You can also tackle a Challenge Event – you can walk the West Highland Way or St Cuthbert’s Way, climb Ben Nevis or cycle through the Hebrides – and raise vital funds for Blythswood at the same time.
You can sponsor someone who is taking part in an event. By sponsoring a runner you are encouraging them and helping them to reach their financial target – an ideal way to support Blythswood if you do not want to participate yourself.
You can collect sponsorship and sponsor someone through Virgin Money Giving. This site enables you to set up your own fundraising page. Sponsors can then donate through your fundraising page and also Gift Aid their donation. The benefit to Blythswood is that we receive the donations instantly and the benefit to you is that you do not have to collect sponsor money after the event.
We ask that you always use the Blythswood Sponsor Form and encourage sponsors to gift aid their donations.
Organising an event can involve a lot of manpower and we are always grateful to our supporters who organise events.
The Blythswood Fashion Show involved volunteers as models and dressers as well as all those who helped in the preparatory work and planning of the event - sorting the clothes, selecting and pressing the outfits, selling tickets and collecting donations for the auction. And on the day itself, of course, assisting with the set up and clearing up after the event. To ensure the success of an event like this, it is essential to have a group of reliable and capable volunteer helpers.