Last month the whole city pulled together to help with the clean up of our streets and homes following the flood.
This was an excellent example of volunteering and working in partnership to make sure Newcastle got back on its feet after this remarkable event.
To build on this Newcastle City Council is inviting the residents of Castle, South Heaton and Westgate to sign up to a new volunteers programme which will support the council’s Environmental Services and encourage pride in their communities.
From Tuesday, 31 July you can put your name forward for the scheme which is part of the city council’s ourNewcastle initiative which reflects our Decent Neighbourhoods Standards commitment.
Volunteers who sign up to the scheme will be able to help the city in two ways, firstly by being involved in the City Wide Winter Maintenance and Emergency Response. This will include clearing snow from local priority routes like hospitals, pedestrian crossings, older people’s homes, shops and bus stops for example. And during floods by helping to prepare sandbags and clear up in the most affected areas.
On a local level, volunteers will also be able to help with general environmental maintenance in the three pilot wards. This will include assistance with litter picking, planting, weeding and maintaining planting schemes, removing graffiti and also helping to maintain street furniture.
This volunteering programme will enhance the council’s existing work in working towards cleaner, greener and safer local neighbourhoods. It will also bring together communities and help communities become more self-sufficient.
It will also bring about pride in the local environment by opening up opportunities for volunteers to develop skills, meet new people and become more actively involved in their community.
Once you have signed up a register of volunteers will be created for one-off events, emergencies or ongoing support which will run until March 2013.
Volunteers will be over 18 years old and will receive a full briefing about their role in supporting projects in their area.
Neighbourhood Managers will oversee the tasks and supervision in each of the wards and to any citywide response to emergencies.
Following the formal recruitment process which will include references, volunteers will receive training and support before having their name added to the database of volunteers.
Each volunteer will receive ongoing support and contact with staff from the council’s Environmental Services to ensure best practice.
It is hoped that volunteers will make a positive contribution to their local neighbourhoods and this initiative will encourage others to play a more active part in creating decent neighbourhoods for all.
The scheme will be highlighted by Newcastle Volunteer Centre who will advertise roles through the national volunteering database www.do-it.org.uk.
More information will also be distributed by communities officers to groups, schools and individuals already active in their community, includes students, YHN volunteers, ’friends of’ groups and businesses.
In supporting the initiative Cllr Nigel Todd, Deputy Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport, said: “This new scheme offers volunteers a chance to develop skills, gain work experience, meet new people and make a real difference. It will also support neighbourhoods in becoming more self-sufficient, and encouraging pride in the local environment.
He added: “We are clear this is not about taking away the jobs of the local workers on the ground who we know communities really value. But it will provide additional pairs of hands for city council staff to do their work at times of pressure, and we're especially grateful to the trade unions for indicating their support.”
It is hoped this scheme will be rolled out across the city later this year.
If you think you can make a difference to your community and want to become a volunteer email email@example.com.
Page last updated: 30 July, 2012