Volunteering at HSB
Volunteers are a vital part of HSB’s work, we have been working hard over the last few years to develop a range of volunteering opportunities within the organisation, that hopefully offer something for everyone.
Volunteers do not have to have any previous experience of working with people who are affected by sight loss as training is provided along with ongoing support.
We are looking for volunteers who have the time to offer to support and make a difference to those people in Calderdale who have a visual impairment. All we ask is that you are friendly and caring, with good communication skills and a non-judgmental attitude.
Along with many organisations, we have had to change the services we offer to accommodate the current situation we find ourselves in and we are very proud of the way our volunteers have adapted with us.
Volunteering with Halifax Society for the Blind is now done from the comfort of your own home as all face to face services have had to be put on hold. Volunteers are now able to support our members in three new and exciting ways.
The AVIATORS Project
This Project has been highly successful and has even featured on Look North! AVIATORS stands for Advancing Visually Impaired Adoption of Technology Out-Reach Service. This project has been created because here at HSB we recognised the negative impact lockdown was having on people. Technology has helped ease this impact for some but for those with a visual impairment it can often be difficult to access.
AVIATORS allows us to provide people with sight loss with mobiles devices that have specially designed software installed on them making them much more accessible. Volunteers are a vital part of this project as they are given specialised training before being matched up to an AVIATORS participant and offering weekly sessions to help them become familiar with their device and learn how to use it to its full potential.
This is an excellent opportunity to learn new skills and provide a service that really makes a difference.
“It’s so exciting, learning to use this tablet will open up a whole new world to me!”
Friends on the Phone Scheme.
Developed as an immediate response to the first lockdown this involves being matched to a member (or two!) and making a phone call each week to have a chat and a catch up.
This is a service we would be unable to offer if it wasn’t for our great team of volunteers.
Karen has said:
“Friends on the Phone has been an absolute lifeline. I don’t know what I would have done without it, just knowing that I am getting that call each week has given me something to look forward to”
Prior to COVID19 HSB ran a number of social groups which were always well attended. When face to face services were paused, we set up a selection of social room groups instead. These social rooms take place on throughout the week at different times to try to reach a wider audience.
Not only can volunteers provide essential support during technical issues or help keep chat alive but they are also encouraged to bring their own ideas for quizzes or activities and if they feel confident enough, lead on these within the group.
“the quizzes are great; they are helping to keep my brain active”
There are many benefits to volunteering,
· Develop your skills and experience
· Meet new people
· Give something back to the local community
· Improve your CV
· Have fun!
Volunteering is a very rewarding and fulfilling activity. If you are looking for a new challenge and would like to find out more about our volunteering opportunities, then please do not hesitate to contact us
Become an HSB Trustee
Trustees do the important background work, of steering charities and ensuring that they achieve their aims. HSB is lucky to have a healthy Board of Trustees, and a clear vision for our future. They are driven by the increasingly importance of sight loss in a society where people live longer, and more people are sadly expected to encounter sight loss. It is healthy for some turnover amongst trustees, and so we are on the look-out for enthusiastic people who can bring something to our mission. To discuss any thoughts you have on this, get in touch, and speak to our Chief Officer.