Led by the Wild - Whites Wood Farm

Want to help protect and promote the natural environment? Then come this way - we need your help! We are a very friendly bunch of people, passionate about the environment and conservation, and determined to turn our 30 acre site into a haven for wildlife. We meet every Friday morning, 9am-12 midday - all welcome! Email ali@ledbythewild.co.uk
Led by the Wild is a community organisation operating over a stunning 30 acre site, which includes farm, field and woodland in Aldington. We run projects which span across outdoor education as part of forest school, community well-being projects and conservation. We're passionate about protecting and supporting the natural environment and promoting it as a space for well-being and community. Working with Kent Wildlife Trust we created a conservation plan which includes extending our already flourishing community garden, creating a number of specific conservation areas for flora and fauna, and supporting the varied and amazing ecosystem we already have. But to achieve this plan we need more help! Can you help us?
For more details email Ali (above), check out the website or keep up with their news on Facebook.

Ashford Vineyard - together at Christmas

Ashford Vineyard runs a number of amazing groups to support the people of Ashford.
This is particularly the case over the festive period and the team at Vineyard are keen for volunteers to help in their Hamper collection on December 7th. This will include either collecting food at Sainsburys or helping pack support hampers at the Ashford Vineyard warehouse.
If interested sign up via the following links…
Sainsburys Hamper Collection: https://doodle.com/poll/463775gsvpmnumq9
Warehouse Hamper Packing:  https://doodle.com/poll/y565xmazqcqx8qrn
Ashford Vineyard are also running a Christmas Carol event on December 15th (4pm – 7pm) and a Christmas eve “chill” on the 24th (23.30).
Finally they are running a Christmas day meal if people would like to be in company. Anyone interested would need to contact Maddy on maddy@ashfordvineyard.org

Kent Youth County Council

Ashford Volunteer Centre recently attended a Voluntary Sector and Network meeting at Kent County Council headquarters, Sessions House, Maidstone.
One of the individuals met was a young lady called Millie who is part of the Youth council. Kent Youth County Council voices the views and opinions of Kent’s young people.
It helps young people understand the importance of engaging in the democratic process and learn how their vote can make a difference.
Four young people are elected to represent each district in Kent. They are known as memvers. Four deputy members for each area are also elected.
Twelve young people are also elected to community sears.
Each year the new members choose 3 issues to campaign on that are important to young people.

Touch a New World Buddy - use your IT skills?

Time2Give volunteers help Kent Libraries, Registration and Archives (KLR&A) extend and enrich the services it offers.
Touch a New World (TaNW) Buddies help IT novices at home to build their confidence to access and use library services electronically, by developing their experience of using the internet, and introducing them to email.
Do you think this may be of interest to you? Or you have any questions? Speak to staff at the Ashford Gateway Plus or contact libraryvolunteers@kent.gov.uk or 03000 416996.

Ashford Chronic Pain Group AVC attendance

Ashford Volunteer Centre attended the Ashford Chronic Pain Group seminar today (Tuesday, November 5th). It was a very well attended group and provided a great opportunity for us to network with other valuable providers in Ashford.

Ashford Chronic Pain Group

Ashford Volunteer Centre attended the Ashford Chronic Pain Group seminar today (Tuesday, November 5th). It was a very well attended group and provided a great opportunity for us to network with other valuable providers in Ashford.
People dealing with Chronic Pain on a daily basis often feel lonely, depressed and isolated. This group is well established, as it has been running for 4 years. It is full of life and looks forward to meeting newcomers.

Ashford Chronic Pain Support group was set up to help and support with this issue. The group meet on the first Tuesday of every month at 
The Riverside Centre.  Guest speakers are invited to share information and give informative talks.

Young Lives Foundation

Young Lives Foundation are a Children's Charity that recruit Volunteers to support young Vulnerable and disadvantaged young people. They are looking for outgoing individuals in Ashford who are able to offer constancy and act a a positive role model to younger people " 
If interested please contact Frank Martin, Kent Befriending Coordinator, YLF on 01622 693459 or frank.martin@ylf.org.uk

Cancer Research UK shops

Cancer Research UK has always been a volunteer-led organisation, right from our board of trustees to our wonderful shop volunteers. The money raised through our shops last year over £80 million, is a testament to the hard work and talent of our shop teams, but we need to recognise the huge potential that still exists to grow our income.  In particular, if we can attract more people into our shops and increase customer spend by maximising the appeal of our offer to local shoppers, we will be well on the way to achieving our targets. But we can only do this with the help of our talented and passionate volunteers.
Contact: Ingrid.willis@cancer.org.uk or 07787 666423
Pop into your nearest shop: Speak to the manager and pick up an application

Princes Trust - young people willing to help

The Princes Trust in Ashford have a team of 14 young people with plenty of energy for a volunteer project as part of their 2019 Programme. Ideally this should the young people enough work for 3 full days and make a difference to the local community here in Ashford.Do you have a project in mind? If so contact John Vinson johnvinson@cxk.org direct to see if your project suits.

Friends of Victoria Park

 The Friends of Victoria Park still have space on their committee for additional members. They are looking for people who would be able to attend public meetings four times a year and additional monthly evening committee meetings, with some electronic communication between meetings. They also organise various activities in the park throughout the year. While previous experience would be great, if you are interested and willing to learn and work with the existing team, then they would welcome you. f you feel that a position on the committee is not for you, but would like to help at some of our events e.g. Marshalling, Litter picking etc then please feel free to contact us on secretary@victoriaparkashford.uk

Level 2 - Food Safety in Catering course

There are still spaces on the FREE "Food Safety in Catering" course at Ashford Volunteer Centre on Tuesday, December 3rd 2019.
The course is designed to ensure food handlers are aware of the hazards and controls associated with the types of food they produce...including food safety; the law, hazards, taking temperature, refrigeration, cooking, principles of safe storage, equipment and more... 
To book on simply send your name, address and contact details to Lee Robinson on 01233 665535 or email lee.robinson@ashfordvc.org.uk

"Skills for Volunteers" course

There are still spaces on the FREE "Skills for Volunteers" course at Ashford Volunteer Centre on Wednesday, November 20th 2019.
To book on simply send your name, address and contact details to Lee Robinson on 01233 665535 or email lee.robinson@ashfordvc.org.uk
“Skills for Volunteers”
Lee Robinson, from the Ashford Volunteer Centre, is running FREE introduction to volunteering course – with a difference. The sessions run from 9.30am – 2.30pm (latest)…at  Ashford Volunteer Centre on
Wednesday, November 20th 2019
A FREE lunch is also available.
The course looks at what you are good at, like to do and your own individual “genius” - when too often we are told of our deficiencies. It will look at helping restore a volunteering ethic to communities whilst boosting individual’s lives, self-esteem, confidence, experience, cv and more. It’s FREE and it’s FUN.
Regardless of where you are this session will help point you in the right direction through volunteering. Turning what you are good at into helping yourself and others.

Fit & Fed programme on Stanhope

Stanhope Community Hub are hosting a FREE "Fit & Fed" programme during the October half-term. In partnership with Olympia Boxing the sessions (Monday, 21st - Wednesday, 23rd...11am - 2pm) offer a free healthy lunch.
The event takes place at Stanhope Community Hub, 67A Otterden Close, Stanhope TN23 5TH.
For more information or interested contact:-
lauren.connor@moat.co.uk - 07711 438512

Free digital inclusion event

For many of us, going online to buy things, pay bills or keep in touch with friends and family is second nature. However this is not the case for everyone. In fact 23% of adults in Ashford lack all of the basic digital skills they need.
To try and tackle this, Ashford Borough Council has partnered with Barclays Bank, Ashford Gateway and the One You Shop to host a digital inclusion event to equip those who lack the skills or confidence to get online. Computer and laptops will be provided or people can come along with their smartphone, tablet or laptop and take part.
Wednesday, November 13 at Ashford Gateway, Church Road, Ashford TN23 1AS
10:00 – 12:00              Basic digital skills workshop supported by ABC’s digital champions
13:00 – 14:00              How to stay safe and keep personal data safe on-line workshop hosted by Barclays Bank
To reserve a place email Yaz Aboubakar on yaz.aboubakar@ashford.gov.uk or call 01233 330388 (please advise of any accessibility needs).

Sustrans CycleRoute volunteers for Ashford

Sustrans is looking for Volunteer Community Route Volunteers in Ashford to help keep the many cycle routes in the best possible condition so that everyone can use them for everyday journeys.  Our Champions are active, practical people who may clear some overgrown vegetation, clean signs or report potholes to the council when they do regular checks on their routes.  Ashford so many off-road cycle paths and Sustrans need more Volunteers to keep them in tiptop condition. 
Interested? Contact Helen Fisher, Volunteer Coordinator, on  07500 833 152 | 0118 958 1712 or e:mail at Helen.Fisher@sustrans.org.uk 

Sue Ryder Charity Shop - Volunteers needed

Sue Ryder is a charity which was founded in 1953 by Sue Ryder, with the creation of a nursing home in Suffolk, UK. Sue Ryder supports people with complex needs and life-threatening illnesses across the UK and internationally. Your local Ashford Charity Shop is in need of volunteers to cover specific shifts. If you think this maybe for you then just pop in for a chat (8 Singleton Shopping Centre, Ashford TN23 5GR) or email Emma Spanton on emma.spanton@suerydercare.org or call Emma or Samantha Rolfe on 01233 640291.

World Homeless Day

Ashford Volunteer Centre joined Kareen McDonald, Ashford Church’s Winter Night Shelter Scheme coordinator, and her team at the Beacon Centre in Bank Street, Ashford for an event, supported by Ashford Borough Council, marking World Homeless Day.
This is the start of a series of events over the coming weeks culminating in a “sleep in” at St Mary's Church, Ashford on December 8 2019.
The gathering highlighted the work of all the agencies involved in supporting homeless people.

Wye Community Farm – exciting opportunities!

Wye Community Farm is a small not-for-profit organisation that brings together a range of small-scale food and craft enterprises to promote sustainability, offer young people an opportunity to experience working in the countryside, and to create jobs. They currently have four volunteer vacancies. For further details, please email info@wyecommunityfarm.org.uk
Fundraiser – are you able to find suitable funding opportunities, put together grant proposals, coordinate fundraising events and attend events to raise awareness of WCF? This is a great opportunity for someone to be closely involved in the workings of the farm!
Communications and advertising coordinator – could you can plan some advertising (on the radio, news media, magazines and social media) that would increase awareness of the farm and attract more volunteers? If so, WCF would love to hear from you!
Events organiser – could you organise and run events such as the harvest festival and bonfire night, and help make our AGM a community-wide event? We’d love to have someone that can help us raise income from these events.
Membership administrator ­– are you a stickler for detail? Could you manage the farm’s subscriptions and prepare the annual membership accounts and budget? If you’re organised and have some administrative experience, please get in touch.

Environmental Project - Volunteers needed

The new, start up social enterprise, Geeco, are currently recruiting volunteers for an up and coming environmental project that starts, January 2020.
The project involves making profit from selling ecoscripts using the accumulated funds to support local ecotourism. 

Free Health Checks

The NHS are offering FREE Health Checks to any organisations staff members and their clients. The NHS Health Check programme aims to prevent cardiovascular disease such as heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, diabetes and some forms of dementia.The NHS Health Check programme aims to prevent cardiovascular disease such as heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, diabetes and some forms of dementia.

Volunteer Centre support Guide Dogs Quiz

Lee Robinson, Volunteer Services Coordinator, devised the questions and was quiz-master at the Guide Dogs annula quiz at Lympne Village Hall on Saturday (5th).
Anne Chapman, volunteer for Guide Dogs, had to turn teams away as the hall and quiz were a sell out.
The event was in aid of guide dogs – specifically aimed at raising funds during National Guide Dogs Week.
The evening was a huge success with over £800 raised.

Citizens Advice Quiz Night

Friends of Ashford Borough Citizens Advice are having a quiz evening (some great prizes) on Oct 19th Sat. 7.00pm at St Michael's, Tenterden  Futher details from us on  01233 626185 

ESOL - English classes

If you are interested in improving your English, know someone else who might be interested or work with someone who might benefit from improving The Willow Centre are running a Wednesday course.
The course is aimed at building confidence through every day English language improvement. The course starts on Wednesday, 22nd January 2020 and runs for 6 weeks (9.30am – 12pm). For more information call 03000 418800.

Ashford Lions Quiz

Ashford Lions are hosting their next charity quiz to raise funds for local charities. The quiz takes place on Saturday 9th November at the Swan Centre, doors open at 7 pm for a 7:30 start. Suggested entry is £3 per person. There will be a cash bar and raffle as part of this charity fundraiser. Teams are very welcome to bring their own food and drinks. Team of up to 8 maximum.
Teams may reserve a table by email to info@ashfordlions.org.uk.

Refugee support volunteers needed

Kent Refugee Action Network works with unaccompanied asylum-seeking children aged 15-18yrs and young people. They run ESOL classes at Ashford Baptist Church on Mondays and Thursdays 9.30am-1.30pm and volunteers are needed to help the teachers with 1:1 and group support. They also need volunteers on a Monday evening to help support our young people at football sessions held at Pitchside on Monday evenings from 7-9pm.
If interested and/or you think you can help please contact Gwen Wilkinson (KRAN Volunteer &Safeguarding Manager) on 07793 586299 or gwen@kran.org.uk

Fareshare - Foodbank drivers needed

The Foodbank are looking to expand their service offer by adding new volunteer drivers to their operation at Fareshare Kent. Recently they have expanded to using 3 vans on a daily basis instead of 2. If you think you can help please contact Emily White on 01233 500477 or emmawhite@faresharekent.org.uk

Wye Community Farm - Volunteers needed

There are a number of opportunities arisen at the Woolshed – part of Wye Community Farm.
They need the following volunteers:-
An administration assistant specifically supporting the management of the Woolshed Events Calendar and its promotion.
Someone with experience and willing to help in funding grants application
A Care Support volunteer on a Monday and/or Thursday to support some of the Woolsheds more vulnerable volunteers and aid them in settling them into their activities.
Finally Fleece processors!! The Woolshed needs volunteers to sort and grade raw sheep fleece, manage it through its washing stages, pick the fibres open and much more…a unique opportunity for the right candidates.
Interested in knowing more about local rural life? For more information contact Della on 07557 040805 or via email on della@spinningearth.co.uk.

Pilgrims Hospice Shop - Help needed

The Pilgrims Hospice Shop in town is in desperate need of volunteers. The Ashford General shop in Castle Street needs volunteers across Monday to Saturday. The shop is ideally looking for people who can provide a 2-4 hour shift. 

Making Miracles - Baby Loss volunteers needed

Making Miracles: (Urgent)
Making Miracles has so far supported over 750 families through the trauma of high risk pregnancies and baby loss. They have grown from small beginnings, to a registered charity with a team of Counsellors, Volunteers, and Fundraisers, working across all of Kent. 
They are currently getting ready for our biggest ever fundraising appeal - the challenge is to raise £7800 in October, enough money to support 31 local families. The Making Miracles team are arranging a number of new fundraising events and we need volunteer help. 
They are looking for volunteers for donation collection at Tesco Extra in Ashford on October 12th (1-3pm or 2-4pm) at any of the following events we would be extremely grateful
This type of collection, especially in busy periods, can raise making miracles hundreds of pounds per hour. No specialist training is required, we just need a smile and hand out our information to shoppers - whilst hopefully collecting donations. 
If you’re interested in helping, or know someone else who can, please contact Sally on sally@makingmiracles.org.uk

Mason Mile:Participants-Saturday (5th)

The Mason Mile: (Urgent)
Very short notice but this Saturday sees the launch of Mason Mile in our area. This is a family focused event to bring about behaviour change and challenge us all to do a mile a day, your own way. Be it walking, scooting or running as long as you do a mile a day we are getting outside and active. So if you are free on Saturday (5th) morning between 10 – 2 then please pop along to Victoria Park where there will be organised mile walks every 30 minutes along with inflatables and free give away.
If you think you could volunteer then contact Claire Norman (Ashford Borough Council - Active Communities Partnership Officer) on 07717 806718 or 01233 330247

Macmillan Coffee Morning - Thank you !

Thank you all for your generous support of our Macmillan Coffee Morning on 27 September 2019 at Ashford Volunteer Centre.
We are feeling super proud as our Coffee Morning raised £110 for Macmillan Cancer Support.
Thank you!

Chilham Parish Recreation Ground Trust

Chilham Parish Recreation Ground Trust, (CPRGT) runs and maintains various activities and facilities in the village of Chilham. There’s a Sports Hall complete with showers, toilets, kitchen and Committee Room. The hall is used for various sporting activities and is heated. Outside there’s a football pitch, MUGA pitch, Children’s Play Area and three flood lit tennis courts.
They are a thriving community but totally reliant upon individuals giving of their time to run these excellent facilities. If you are interested in being involved do get involved with the trust…maybe starting up a new group. They are particularly interested in hearing from women as their Committee is currently comprised almost entirely of men. They strive to be both open and welcoming.
Contact Julian Rankin, Chair CPRGT on 01227 751070

Family Action seeking FamilyLine Volunteers

Family Action are seeking FamilyLine Volunteers, homebased, to provide free support and guidance on all aspects of family life to parents and carers. The service provides Helpline, Befriending and counselling support via telephone, email and text messaging. The service is offered free. If interested please contact the team on 0808 802 6666; email familyline@family-action.org.uk and/or visit www.family-action.org.uk/familyline

Ashford Borough Council

Ashford Borough Council are looking for a volunteer to support the Employment & Skills Advisor at Ashford’s Job Club. The role is required for the session that takes place on Fridays (9.30am – 1.00pm) at Ashford Gateway, 9.30am – 1pm.
The drop-in Job Club is run in the IT suite at the Gateway. The Employment & Skills advisor is available to help members of the public to get online, and give advice & support around job searching. 
It’s a friendly & informal environment. If you are comfortable around computers and navigating the internet, as well as being comfortable with meeting new people…you don’t need to have experience in giving careers advice as the Employment & Skills Advisor takes on this responsibility. 
For an informal discussion please contact Vikki Baker, Ashford Borough Council, Civic Centre, Tannery Lane, Ashford, Kent TN23 1PL via email vikki.baker@ashford.gov.uk or phone 01233 330440

Swim Champion Volunteer for Arthritis

Volunteers are needed as “Swim Champions” for a new programme through ‘Versus Arthritis’ (and partnered with Swim England). The programme is designed to encourage people with arthritis to
participate in swimming and wider aquatic activity to improve their health. Swim Champion Volunteers provide support to people with arthritis whether before, during, or after being in the water
Over 10 million people are living with arthritis in the UK. Could you help? Interested? For more information please contact “Versus Arthritis” on volunteering@versusarthritis.org or telephone on 01246 588082

Kent Association for The Blind

Kent Association for The Blind supports Visually Impaired People – Having recently partnered with Blind Veterans UK, we have a wide range of volunteering opportunities available. For example, our volunteers help us in many ways, through Befriending, Helping at Clubs & Groups, Driving and Escorting People, Providing Office Support, Fundraising, Helping with our Talking News Service, Public Speaking, Organising Activities & Events and Helping People with Computers. Training and on-going support is available for our volunteers. For more information please contact Susan Williams on 01227 763366 or email: susan.williams@kab.org.uk

Macmillan Cancer Support Group - Ashford

We run a Cancer Support Group the first friday every month between 10-12 midday at the Volunteer Centre.
The next Macmillan cancer support café is on Friday, September 6, where you can learn about the effect nature has on wellbeing. Come for a drink and a chat, make new friends and access Macmillan support information. There’s no need to book, simply turn up. 
Friday, September 6 from 10am-12noon at Berwick House, 8 Elwick Road, Ashford

Volunteer Week 2018 has arrived

On Friday 1st June Volunteer Week 2018 started.

To start the week off we celebrated with a Volunteer Thank You strawberry tea - with over 50 people attended including Damian Green MP.

A BIG thank you to all our volunteers who make a real difference to people live's across the Borough of Ashford - we couldn't do it without you!

Many thanks to Specsavers in Ashford for sponsoring the event and making it possible - that was brilliant!

Thank you!

Brave volunteers take the plunge!

The big jump is now done! 

Braving the weather, heights, fear of heights and the unknown Lee, Sally and Helen undertook the charity abseil, at St Thomas Place in Maidstone, on 8th April 2018.

The trio successfully raised over £1000 for charity in the process - what a fantastic achievement and thank you!!

Volunteers Week 2018 - coming soon!

Volunteers’ Week is a time to say thank you for the fantastic contribution volunteers make.
During the week, hundreds of events and celebrations take place across the country, saying thank you to volunteers and recognising their invaluable and diverse contribution to the UK.
Here you’ll find inspiring volunteering stories, ways to get involved in the week, and free downloadable resources to help make your celebrations a success.
The campaign was established in 1984 by Volunteering England, which merged with NCVO in 2013. NCVO now leads this UK-wide campaign.
More news about what Ashford Volunteer Centre is planning for Volunteers' Week 2018 is coming soon - watch this space!

Welcome to our new website!

We are excited to announce that our new website is live!
We have redesigned it with you in mind, streamlining menus, simplifying menus, building a responsive layout for all platforms and providing more information on our services.
We encourage everyone to visit and explore the site, discovering the full range of activities from Ashford Volunteer Centre.
To stay connected on social media, don't forget to follow us on Twitter or Facebook
If you have any questions or feedback you would like to share with our team, please do so by filling out the form on our Contact Us page.
We look forward to hearing from you!