Tella and Sandy were two of over 100 volunteers out on the streets recruiting members of the public into local volunteer centres.

Team London showcases the fantastic work that volunteer centres do for unemployed Londoners

07 June 2016

In celebration of the fantastic work that volunteer centres are doing, Team London and Greater London Volunteering (GLV) organised the Big Recruit on Tuesday 7 June. Launched at Volunteer Centre Croydon by Deputy Mayor of Croydon Toni Letts, James Banks of GLV, and Natalie Cramp of Team London, the event showcased 23 volunteer centres and their amazing achievements at helping unemployed people to find work. 

Deputy Mayor of Croydon Toni Letts, James Banks of GLV, and Natalie Cramp of Team London meet staff and volunteers at the Team Croydon Shop

Volunteer centres make a huge contribution to communities all over London. They support local charities and help local people who are struggling to find work. The Big Recruit highlighted the important role that volunteering plays in building people’s skills and confidence and helping them move into employment or training. An army of over 100 volunteers from each of the centres was out on the streets recruiting members of the public into the volunteer centres to find out more about volunteering and how it can help them. 

A round table with current and former volunteers and Karen Chillman, Head of Volunteering at Croydon Voluntary Action

At Volunteer Centre Croydon, current and former volunteers were on hand to talk about their experiences. One of these volunteers was Bhanu who used the confidence built during volunteering to set up her own freelance floristry business. She was joined by Caron who developed her skills and is now in an HR Manager and Deborah who has been supporting youth offenders and aspires to become a magistrate. 

Bhanu Vadgama used the skills developed during volunteering to start her own floristry business

Finding work can be tough, especially when a person feels they don’t have the right experience or understand what they are looking for. Volunteering can help by identifying what a person's passions are and can provide them with valuable experience. In addition, research shows that 73% of employers would choose someone with volunteering experience over someone without – that’s a huge difference.

A six-month gap in my CV seemed to be a barrier into work and led me to contact my local volunteer centre. I really wanted to get back into a professional environment as I felt my confidence was decreasing. I secured a local volunteering role and as a result met new people and made new contacts. It also enhanced my confidence and helped me get my dream role. Meenakshi, Admissions Administrator, Westminster.

The event coincided with Volunteers' Week 2016 – the annual celebration of the fantastic contribution millions of volunteers make across the UK. It also formed a series of events celebrating London's title as 2016's European Volunteering Capital.

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