JVN Volunteering Success in Birmingham!

Welcome back to the JVN blog after a whirl of Bank Holidays, Pesach and of course  a little local wedding!  Here at JVN we’ve returned to an office move and I don’t know where my desk will be from one hour to the next.  So in the meantime, I thought I’d dust the matzah crumbs off my laptop to tell you about some work JVN has been doing to promote volunteering opportunities outside of London via our dedicated Regional Development Manager (and erstwhile Brummie and Liverpudlian) Esmond Rosen – who if train miles could be racked up as airmiles would be due a transatlantic trip by now!

Es works with individual regional communities and organisations to help meet their specific local needs.  Here, Esmond reports on the work he has been doing with social care organisation, Birmingham Jewish Community Care (BJCC), to help recruit potential volunteers:

Over the last 6 months, I’ve made a number of visits to Birmingham’s Jewish community to help identify and tackle its volunteering needs.  Working hand in hand with BJCC’s Chief Executive Irving Myers and his team, we decided to organise a special community “Become a Volunteer” day in November to recruit potential volunteers for BJCC generally, and the Andrew Cohen House elderly care home in particular.  BJCC wasn’t quite getting enough of the volunteer support they needed to run some of their extra activities, which really help to enrich the users’ lives.

The “Become a Volunteer” day was great –a happily large gathering was inspired by presentations about BJCC and the volunteering opportunities available and clips shown from the JVN Volunteer Awards Winners Ceremony that really put across the benefits volunteers get – and give – from volunteering.  Together we must have done something right, as most of the people attending signed up as volunteers on the spot!

Building on this recruitment event, BJCC Activities Coordinator Jo McKenzie and Irving’s PA Christine Elliot organised a very successful induction day, to which many of the original volunteers brought along their friends.  As a result, 24 new volunteers have become involved with the Centre: helping as guides on trips, a new garden project and delivering meals on wheels. The Centre has also been able to re-open its luncheon club on two days during the week, at which some of the new volunteers serve lunch and look after the club’s members. Even better, Birmingham University Jewish Students Society (JSoc) social action group also became involved in meeting residents and volunteered to participate in the weekly shul services.  We, at JVN couldn’t be more thrilled to welcome such a great initiative, not to mention the best-practice volunteering database that Jo has put in place to manage them all!

When we asked Irving about what he thought, his comment was: “I really take great pride in the professionalism of the Centre’s staff and the dedication of the new volunteers helping great things take place.  JVN really played a valuable role in helping us to revive and reinvigorate this project in an organised way.”  Praise indeed!

My role is all about helping regions develop and promote their volunteering like this; so if you are part of a regional Jewish organisation and need volunteers or if you would like to get involved at your local community, please give me a call on 020 7443 5102 or email esmond@jvn.org.uk


Categories: JVN News


Hi, I'm Mike, JVN's Youth Co-ordinator and blogger. I'll be blogging about all sorts of issues affecting the volunteering community, with a particular focus on how recent developments might affect the UK Jewish community's volunteers. I'm always interested to read the comments you make. If you have something you want to see in the JVN blog, e-mail me at mike@jvn.org.uk and I'll be happy to talk. And if you're inspired by any of my blogs to volunteer, log on to www.jvn.org.uk and register to find your perfect volunteering opportunity.


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    […] in London – and North London at that! – in fact JVN is passionate about supporting volunteering across the UK’s Jewish […]

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