The importance of volunteers across the county was emphasised at an event where the efforts of KCC’s Early Help and Preventative Services (EHPS) were praised.
The service has been presented with the prestigious REVAMP (Recognition of Excellence in Volunteering and Management Practice) certificate by the Stronger Kent Communities consortium at a ceremony held at a children’s centre.
Stuart Collins, the Director for Integrated Children’s Services (the EHPS lead), who received the award on behalf of the service, said: “Volunteers are crucial to our work, supporting families in a timely way so that they are safeguarded and their educational, social and emotional needs are met.
“I started as a volunteer myself in 1992, working with young people, so this celebration holds a personal significance with me. I am very proud to be able to receive this award, in recognition of the excellent work our volunteers do and also in recognition of the support they receive from teams within the service, including those who have arranged this event.”
The service benefits from the contribution of more than 400 volunteers across Kent but still has vacancies within Children’s Centres, Youth Hubs, Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and Youth Justice. Roles range from business support and peer support to volunteering in one of the many open access groups offered to young people, children and families.
Volunteers can search www.kent.gov.uk and access details about the various roles they can apply for and complete a simple application form online.
The vision for volunteering with EHPS is:
- That staff and managers value the vital contribution that volunteers make to services;
- To ensure that everyone has the opportunity to have a meaningful and enjoyable volunteering experience;
- To ensure volunteering is a mutually beneficial and shared experience. It is rewarding and of benefit to the volunteer in building skills, confidence and career options;
- Volunteers benefit EHPS and service users by contributing time, energy and talent that help to fulfil the EHPS outcomes.
Mr Collins said: “Many of our services have well established volunteer programmes and we want to ensure that all Early Help volunteers receive the same consistent commitment, no matter which specific aspect they have chosen to help.
“The award from Stronger Kent Communities reflects our serious commitment to our volunteers across Kent and has been awarded for the processes in place to recruit and support the large number of volunteers in Kent.”