Staff Profile: Janette Devlin – Training & Volunteer Development Co-ordinator

About the job

Janette DevlinWe have been successful in securing funds for a new Training & Volunteer Development Co-ordinator from PCF and The Robertson Trust to roll out the Volunteers in Progress Programme (ViPP) and will offer up to 50 volunteers per year substantial experience with immediate access to training, support, supervision and front line work experience. This provides a means for people to gain skills and knowledge, build confidence and contribute to their community as well as leading for many to routes to further learning and/or real career pathway choices.

In 2011, following years of providing informal volunteering opportunities on an ad hoc basis, we established a 12 month pilot to introduce a more structured approach. This pilot provided an innovative training and volunteering opportunity to excluded individuals identified through youth work and community activity. The programme attracted 80 volunteers who collectively provided a total of 3259 volunteering hours helping to deliver youth work, administration and environment projects within areas of multiple deprivation. A total 66 certificates were achieved by the volunteers, 13 of them accessed a Volunteers with Drive driving license package and seven of them moved onto employment and/or training. The new Volunteers in Progress Programme (ViPP) will build on the success of this pilot initiative, refining the service and offering an enhanced accreditation focussed training package.

Volunteers of all ages and backgrounds will be recruited from communities through word of mouth, advertising in local papers and on websites, streetwork contacts, posters and fliers in local community facilities and through referrals from other agencies and organisations. The ViPP has funding in place to provide these volunteers with the opportunity to access a package of training programmes including:

  • SVQ in Volunteering Skills
  • PDA in Youth Work
  • University of Glasgow Activate Course
  • First Aid
  • Child Protection

Volunteers will be supported to achieve relevant certification for their efforts such as the Youth Achievement Awards, Millennium Volunteer Awards, Saltire Awards and John Muir Awards. In return, each volunteer will be asked to commit to an agreed amount of volunteering hours to support local youth and community regeneration activity. The skills and experience gained by participating volunteers through this programme will also offer their local communities a lasting legacy of improvement as many will choose to continue involvement in local volunteer activity even after their formal role in the 12 month ViPP concludes.

University of Glasgow Activate Course

The next Activate course will be running from November through to February and currently has some spaces left. This is a foundation course in community development which helps build experience of new and existing participating volunteers. The course runs for 40 hours within a group work setting and 10 hours conducting a community investigation. It is being held in Centre 81 in Garelochhead and covers key learning concepts that include:

  • What is community work
  • Values and principles of community work
  • Community learning and development
  • Power and participation (including influencing decision-makers)
  • Local and global issues

 

Staff profile: Janette Devlin – Training and Volunteer Development Coordinator

We’ve asked  Janette, our new Training and Volunteer Development Coordinator,  a few questions about her and the job so that you can get to know her better. Janette is no stranger at our office – she was working as a Senior Youth Worker at Streetlinks before joining Community Links Scotland in her new role.

1. What is your current role at CLS?

About me

I am the new Training & Volunteer Development Co-ordinator at CLS and for the first year my role is to recruit volunteers, set up as an accredited SQA centre, deliver specific awards and continue to forge partnership working with University of Glasgow to deliver the Activate course.

Volunteer Recruitment

My role is to encourage volunteer participation in the service and make it exciting enough for them to keep coming back, learn and try out their new skills and knowledge and  - one thing which is very important for the volunteers involved –  to have some fun in a relaxed, supported setting whilst learning, gaining accredited training and giving something back into their community. We are recruiting now so if your reading this and are interested, give me a call or an email and I’ll have a chat with you.

SQA Centre & Training

I will also set up Community Links Scotland as an accredited SQA centre and deliver the PDA in Youth Work and Volunteering Skills Award. This is currently underway.

Activate

I will deliver the partnership learning programme that was designed by University of Glasgow for local community organisations called the Activate course. It is aimed at local people to be able to access a university course in an informal local group work setting. The next one starts in November so if you would like to know more, get in touch.

2. What attracted you to this job/position?

I have in mind a saying: “Find something that you really like doing and then find a way to get paid for it.” That should help answer why I was attracted to the post. I believe in the community learning approach as I am a product of community development services, therefore this is the kind of work I embrace. I find I have high levels of motivation to get out of my bed in the morning and come to work happy!

3. What is the most enjoyable part of your job?

The interaction with people and seeing the self belief and confidence in their own abilities grow.

I love working with people and encouraging them, I’m a natural encourager and seem to have found the perfect job that fits who I am… (if there ever is such a thing!)

4. What is the most challenging part of your job?

The administration, I’m not the most organised person! And days like today – the drive to and from work!

5. What is your life like outside CLS?

I have a wee dog a beagle called JoJo and she makes me walk every day!
I love exploring Scotland in all seasons!
I love when I have family and friends games nights!
I like going to the beach for a good walk and feel agitated if I don’t get there at least once a week!
My favourite show is Homeland and Greys Anatomy!

6. If you weren’t doing this job, what would you like to do?

Work for myself organising events that enable adults to go out to play and have some fun! Or delivering confidence classes for women.

7. What is your worst habit at the office?

Disorganisation of my desk!

8. What is your greatest work accomplishment?

I have lots and they include people growing and developing and making positive progression.

There are two that stand out. One is when I was part of a small team, we organised a local campaign to keep a youth project open that was engaging in real, positive ways with young people. We assisted the community to challenge local decision makers to help keep a youth project open by providing much needed funding for a much needed service.

Another one is when a client who, when I first met her, was very timid and had no confidence and she never looked me in the eye. She was so downtrodden by her life and the circumstances she was in and after she attended the six month training event which I was the facilitator of, I saw her grow so much in confidence. One day she came into the office and looked me right in the eye and demanded a service from me. It was a fantastic moment!

 

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