Introduction to volunteering

Brighton Unemployed Centre Families Project (BUCFP) is unique in that it is run and managed by Volunteers. The Centre aims to relieve poverty, distress and hardship amongst unemployed, unwaged and low waged people living or staying in the Brighton area.

All services and projects are run by volunteers, the project groups are then supported by paid workers. Volunteers are therefore crucial to the running of the Centre.

Volunteers work for the unemployed Centre for many reasons; as a means to return to work, to gain experience and confidence, to undertake further training or simply to help others. We usually have around 130 volunteers at a time and need new volunteers continuously.

Supporting Volunteers

BUCFP aims to find creative ways to engage the most deprived and excluded members of our community and progress them towards volunteering, while at the same time working to reduce barriers to participation.

BUCFP values and celebrates the diversity of people living and working in Brighton and Hove and the surrounding areas. We will openly consult with others to find the best ways of ensuring that our centre, services, volunteering and employment practices are accessible.

Types Of Volunter

BUCFP recognises the needs of individual volunteers varies; the following roles have been developed to provide opportunities for all and involvement at a level that is supported and appropriate. We usually have around 130 volunteers at a time and need new volunteers continuously. BUCFP recognises five different types of volunteers:

  • Occasional volunteers/ Centre helpersThese are people who volunteer on an as and when basis. They volunteer occasionally, and undertake tasks such as watering the plants, doing lunch time clean up, end of day clear up and help out around the centre in return for a meal on the day they volunteered. These volunteers are managed by the day co-ordinator, Families project co-ordinator and Participation co-ordinator. Long term occasional volunteers become known as Centre helpers.
  • Participation volunteersBUCFP provide opportunities for people who participate in projects and activities who may not feel that a structured volunteering opportunity is suitable for them. This may be an opportunity to support the Art group over a short time period on a specific project or to volunteer at the Allotment. A role description will be drawn up for each individual project. Lunches and refreshment on the day of volunteering will be free and references after 3 months of volunteering will be provided. Expenses such as bus fares and parking fees will be agreed by the paid workers if they are in the project budget. Childcare entitlement will be agreed with the Playroom co-ordinators and paid workers - these will be made clear to the volunteer at the start of volunteering. Participation volunteers are mainly supported by the Participation Worker and the Food project worker.
  • Support VolunteersThese volunteers volunteer in a regular slot and provide services that enhance the running of BUCFP. These are volunteers who may wish to try out volunteering and progress onto becoming a skilled volunteer. These volunteers are supported by the paid worker for that Group. Support volunteers include all volunteers based in the following work groups: Tea Bar, Wholefood co-op and Education. Where possible tasks are adapted to suit the needs, abilities and interests of individual volunteers. A role description will be provided for each volunteer area.  Lunches and refreshment on the day of volunteering will be free, bus fares and parking will be reimbursed and the volunteer will be entitled to a playroom place if required, references after 3 months of volunteering can be provided.
  • Skilled VolunteersThese are people who take on a particular role, on an ongoing basis by experienced and trained volunteers and provide essential core services. These volunteers are supported by the paid worker responsible for that work group. Skilled volunteers include all volunteers based in the following work groups; Kitchen, Office, Welfare Rights, Playroom and Digital Inclusion. A role description will be provided for each volunteer area.  Lunches and refreshment of the day of volunteering will be free, bus fares and parking will be reimbursed and the volunteer will be entitled to a playroom place if required, references after 3 months of volunteering can be provided.
  • Trustees These people hold positions of responsibility for the running of the charity and have been elected by members of the organisation or selected on the basis of their skills and experience. Most trustees have volunteered at the Centre for at least 4 months. Support for the trustees is given by the Resources co-ordinator, Fundraiser co-ordinator and Participation co-ordinator. Lunches and refreshment on the day of volunteering will be free, bus fares and parking will be reimbursed and the volunteer will be entitled to a playroom place if required. Any agreed expenses for training,  travel and out of pocket expenses while carrying out Trustee work will be reimbursed.
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BUCFP is entirely volunteer run and depends on our 150+ strong team for the day to day running of the centre and to deliver our vital services to vulnerable and marginalised people in Brighton.

We have monthly induction sessions for new volunteers and welcome people from all backgrounds and abilites to get involved and volunteer with us. Regular volunteers get free refreshments and lunch, use of the creche and travel expenses. Get involved, meet new people and learn new skills in 2016!