At the Volunteer Centre, we aim to encourage growth and development of charities, groups and organisations in the Barnsley Borough, by providing a reliable and objective benchmark for best practice in volunteering.


We have recently launched our Volunteering Quality Award, which is specially designed to help this.


The award's aim is to recognise organisations, groups and projects that are demonstrating best practice and high standards in creating excellent volunteer experiences for anyone offering their time and skills.
For anyone looking to volunteer in Barnsley, the Volunteering Quality Award may help you to make an informed choice of where to volunteer, knowing that certain standards have been met by the organisation, charity or group. We look at things like if an organisation is inclusive, fair, supportive and recognises the value volunteers can give.


These are standards that are not just recognised in South Yorkshire, across the other volunteer centres in the region, but also across Yorkshire and their volunteer centres.


We would like to say a HUGE congratulations to the Independent Visitors Service, who are the first Barnsley organisation to achieve this award, after a lengthy and detailed accreditation period.


The Independent Visitor (IV) Service recruit volunteers who befriend Barnsley children and young people who are looked after by the Local Authority. The IV service offers a comprehensive training programme with opportunities for personal development alongside on-going support from a designated coordinator.


The volunteers are matched with young people based on their interests and personalities with the aim of establishing a long-term, trusting and supportive relationship with a child or young person between 8 and 21 years old (potentially up to 25).


An Independent Visitor is someone who is consistent in their lives when quite often everything else around then may be changing and life can be quite chaotic.


Independent Visitor’s meet with the young person they are matched with once a month, with the primary aim to have fun together and potentially develop new hobbies and interests. The activities are led by the young person depending on their interests and are an opportunity to have one to one quality time with someone away from their day-to-day life. These relationships can help to motivate the young people, develop their social skills, ensure they feel valued and encourage them to reach their full potential.


Just this year so far, the Independent Visitor Volunteers and their young people have taken part in the following activities:
- Baking cookies and cakes
- Alice in Wonderland Escape Rooms
- Lambing Festival
- 15km walk challenge
- Ice Skating
- Ninja Warriors
- Tropical Butterfly House
- Kirskstall Light Railway
- Planet Circus 
- Walks in the Peak District
- Outdoor tennis and basketball
- Gym Sessions
- Shopping at Meadowhall
- Playing Board Games
- Science and Gaming Museums
- Painting a Pot
- Swimming
- Laserquest 
- Trampoline Parks
- Bowling
- Cinema


You can see more about the Independant Visitors service via the video below!



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