We’re Here To… celebrate #microday

Saturday 15 March 2014 was the first ever Microvolunteering Day, a chance for volunteer-involving organisations and people to join together to demonstrate the power and potential of the micovolunteering concept.

microday 2

Microvolunteering is defined by the Institute of Volunteering Research as ‘bite-sized volunteering with no commitment to repeat and with minimum formality, involving short and specific actions that are quick to start and complete’.

So basically, small, fun and flexible ways for people to help out quickly and easily – the sort that we’re really keen on here at Here To!

Led by Help from Home and other partner organisations including Here To, Microvolunteering Day invited individuals to complete micro-tasks in as little as 10 minutes, and advice and resources were made available to help charities and community projects to embrace the idea.

microday

How we celebrated #MicroDay

As well as telling the Here To community about Microvolunteering Day through newsletters and on our social media channels, we also held our own ‘microvolunteering party’ as part of Tollington Community Open Day held at Islington Arts and Media School (IAMS).

BixRcBsIUAAO84R

17 pupils from the school volunteered a couple of hours to help the Tollington Ward Partnership (who were running the event) to find out more about what people thought of living in the area through a questionnaire.

In just 4 hours, the group of young people got 149 responses from guests, which equates to 69 hours of microvolunteering in total!

A big well done to the Year 11 pupils at IAMS who made this possible and all those involved in organising Tollington Community Open Day.

The findings from the survey will be used to help Councillors in the area and the Tollington Ward Partnership in their future decision-making.

Until next year!

Biw9YrTIMAAhYGL

If you’re interested in taking part in microvolunteering, visit the Here To website and sign up to something that takes your fancy.

If you’re interested in adopting the approach in your organisation, please get in touch with us by emailing hello@hereto.org. We’re Here To help and have run training on microvolunteering for volunteer-involving charities.

Here To… offer Food for Thought

Having just celebrated Here To’s 1st birthday, we’re now having a good old think about how we can create the right environment and support for the Here To community to continue to flourish in our 2nd year.

4399116539_c0e460b117_b

The Here To journey first started all the way back in the summer of 2012 when two companies called Isledon and FutureGov came together to create an online volunteer brokerage for Islington. Central to the development of this movement, was you: the local people and local organisations who would be using it. Some people call this co-design, co-production or (for all the techies) Agile Software Development. But basically, it means involving the people who are going to use a product/service to make key decisions about its creation and development: from its name, to what it looks like and its overall approach. Apart from being complete common sense, this sort of approach makes it more likely for new projects to succeed as users feel greater ownership over what they’ve helped to create.

When we were first creating Here To, we sought your advice through workshops

2012-07-17 16.56.05

…user testing sessions

2012-10-10 10.28.26

…at community events

09a5f170f4f311e1b0a8123138131fa0_7

and on the streets of Islington!

2012-10-04 12.17.54

At the moment, we’re Here To think about how we can make Here To more financially sustainable and how we can increase the services and support we offer to local people and projects. We’re also Here To rethink some of our original decisions – e.g. not using the word volunteering, clarifying what we mean by bite-sized – based on what we have learnt delivering a dynamic project like Here To in practice.

So we’re literally offering local people and local projects ‘Food for Thought': a light dinner or lunch made by the lovely Lift Kitchen in exchange for your advice on some of our current challenges.

As well as being able to make your/your organisation’s voice heard at the strategic level of Here To, these sessions will be an ideal chance to meet your neighbours and to network with other organisations.

Local people: Tuesday 11 March 2014, 6-7.30pm at Lift. Sign up by clicking here.

Local projects: Monday 17 March 2014, 12noon-1.30pm at Lift. Sign up by emailing joanna@hereto.org.

There are only 15 places available for each session, so do get in there fast!

If you can’t make it to either of these dates, feel free to drop us an email, tweet or a call with any of your thoughts, particularly around the aspects of our service you might be willing to pay for, how we can help local projects translate more enquiries into helping out and where you think our priorities should lie in terms of volunteering provision in Islington.