Volunteering and Skills Bank

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“You can learn more about a person in an hour of play

      than in a year of conversation”

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What is Play Torbay and what does it do?

Play Torbay is a small, dynamic, voluntary sector organisation championing children’s play across the Bay. We offer free, exciting play opportunities and programmes of adventurous activities in partnership with organisations, parents and local people.

We are committed to the promotion and provision of play for ALL children and have a team of experienced inclusion workers to support disabled young people to be able to take part in adventure and play experiences of their choosing.

We are currently supporting three communities across Torbay develop their own adventure playgrounds so children and families can get outside and play. We want to inspire, challenge and empower children, young people and communities to affect positive change. 

The benefits of volunteering with Play Torbay

  • Get free training, often accredited
  • Have your personal mentoring, support and advice directly from the Volunteer Coordinator
  • Be the first to receive our free activities holiday programme
  • Meet new people
  • Help others
  • Improve the community
  • Gain work experience
  • Learn new skills
  • Put a hobby to good use
  • Use natural talents
  • Build self-confidence
  • Feel useful
  • Play lots!

The benefits volunteers bring to Play Torbay

  • Ability to provide more services
  • Ability to provide better services ie more individual attention to children and young people
  • Diverse skills, knowledge and opinions
  • Enthusiasm, energy and a friendly workplace
  • Creative ideas
  • Keep organisation in touch with the local community
  • Help fulfil Play Torbay’s objectives 

 

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Who can volunteer with Play Torbay?

Almost anyone from the Play Torbay area, who is interested in supporting children’s play. Whether you are a more mature person who has reached retirement and wants to put something back into the community or a young person hoping to gain some work experience in order to help get into work for the first time or anything in between. Play Torbay want to involve people that reflect the diversity of those who live in the bay area. If you feel you have something to contribute, we are sure you have.

We also encourage young people under sixteen to become young volunteers. Play Torbay is a community of caring people that can offer support and encouragement which may help you achieve your goals. 

Where and how can you volunteer for Play Torbay

  • In any of our Adventure playgrounds (leaflets attached)
  • In any of our current projects (leaflets attached)
  • At specific events, as announced by Play Torbay
  • Driving coach/minibus
  • Providing venues for activities
  • Providing workshops/skills
  • Administrative work
  • Fundraising
  • Practical site maintenance/construction
  • As a local play champion advocating and promoting play and the work of Play Torbay
  • As a member of the “Friends” groups for an individual playground 

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Volunteer rights

  • To work in a healthy and safe environment
  • Decide when and how long to be available
  • To receive induction, supervision, mentoring and training
  • Play Torbay has a duty of care for volunteers
  • Help under Data Protection legislation

Volunteer responsibilities

  • Do the best job you can
  • Be punctual
  • Undertake what you agree to do
  • Let the Volunteer Coordinator know if unable to work
  • Respect the privacy of people you work with
  • Support other volunteers
  • Be a team member
  • Know your own limitations (time, money, physical needs)

What support will you have as a volunteer?

 You will receive on the spot support from more experienced staff and regular supervision from the site/service manager. You will also be provided with mentoring support from the Volunteer Coordinator in order to complete any training or qualifications and make the most of your volunteering opportunity. 

What will happen when I become a volunteer? 

You will have an initial informal visit opportunity to the settings/services you are interested in. This will be followed by a more formal induction process where you will be provided with all the information you will need in order to decide if volunteering with Play Torbay is right for you. If you decide to become a volunteer, then you will be provided with a range of training and support that will help you get the most out of your time with Play Torbay. 

What legal aspects do I need to know about?

There are a few legal aspects that you need to be aware of at this stage of your induction.

If you are working face to face with children then you are exempt from the rehabilitation of offenders act. This means that you will have to agree to undergo a police check in order to establish your suitability for working with children. If you do have a criminal record it doesn’t necessarily mean you will be considered unsuitable. It really depends on the nature of the offence. You will also be required to provide a couple of references as to your suitability to work with children.

Working in a play setting can be a lot of fun and provide a lot of fulfilment. It can also be quite challenging as well. Here are a few things to think about when working in a play setting:

Do’s and don’ts of working on a playground

Working as a volunteer on a playground can be a daunting prospect for those who have no experience of being with children. It can be helpful to have a few tips to help you along the way.

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Do

  • Come to the setting with a positive attitude.
  • Wear appropriate clothing for the conditions and likely activities.
  • Carry out any tasks you have agreed to do or tell someone when you can’t.
  • Get down to the children’s level when communicating.
  • Join in playing when children invite you to, but be careful not to take it over.
  • Respond to children’s requests for resources or help when they are playing.
  • Help children to resolve conflicts when they ask you to.
  • Let other play staff know what you are doing.
  • Ask for help when you need it.
  • Ask for information if you need it or don’t know something.
  • Turn up on time or inform people you will be late.
  • Treat everyone fairly and with respect.
  • Support children to play.
  • Think about what you are doing.

Don’t

  • Ignore the children when they are talking to you.
  • Shout at children or lose your temper
  • Tell racist jokes or use other forms of discrimination.
  • Use inappropriate language such as swearing at children or using sexual innuendo.
  • Put children down like telling them they are stupid or lazy etc. (even as a joke)
  • Chat on the mobile when you should be paying attention to the children.
  • Ignore bullying.
  • Do anything that you think will make children feel you don’t respect them or their play.
  • Ignore something that you think will cause an accident.

 

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To contact our Volunteer and Skills Bank Coordinator please email Carmen@playtorbay.org.uk or call the office on (01803) 850157