Here To BiteSize PLUS

Happy Friday all…..!

Just a little hello to tell you all about our up and coming BiteSize plus opportunities here at Here To.

Having listened to you all over the course of some of our recent Pop-Ups and events we have learned of many people interested in extending their Islington contributions from ‘one offs’ to giving of more hours to longer lasting opportunities.

Thus…. Here To BiteSize PLUS is born.

Sharing and supporting through skills swapping.

‘Sharing and supporting one another through skills swapping’

Here To BiteSize PLUS will act as a specific skills matching brokerage. Pairing skilled residents up with projects in need of their super special skills and so on. Those offering their skilful services to Here To will benefit from in house training by leading Isledon youth engagement practitioners, as well as references and recommendations from Here To upon completion.

Volunteers engaging with Here To BiteSize PLUS will offer a few hours at a time, perhaps once a week, perhaps once a fortnight perhaps once  a month for some spectacular session they think they could run, using skills from their professions, passions and life long learning.

The joy of committing just that little bit more time to supporting our young people and the community is that you get to start to see some of the results, your skills being passed on, manifesting in front of you in the actions of others.

Our first exciting recruitment drive for Here To BiteSize PLUS will be for our latest youth hub, Rose Bowl. We are seeking skilful souls in areas such as Arts and Crafts, Nature Play, Creative Writing, Cooking, Hair and Beauty/Nail Art and people simply willing to impart some of their oodles of acquired knowledge on our young people in a home work club, helping with reading and writing and supporting studies. In becoming a Youth Engagement  Volunteer at our Youth Hub you will work alongside our Youth Support Workers to create a nurturing and supportive environment that enriches, educates and inspires our young people. As a Here To Youth Engagement Support Worker you will act as a positive role model to all the young people who access our services, supporting positive activities and play.

http://islington.hereto.org/projects/488

Basically if you have some skills (which lets face it…YOU ALL DO) and a genuine interest in supporting positive progression of young people….. then we want to hear from you! Get in touch and get involved.

Have a good weekend everybody.

Sinéad

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.

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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

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…user testing sessions

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…at community events

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and on the streets of Islington!

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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.

Here To… share the brilliance of student volunteers

It is week two of London Student Volunteering Fortnight, two weeks of volunteer events which take place across the city for students from many London universities. Throughout the fortnight students will be helping local communities, whilst also bonding with fellow students they wouldn’t normally have the chance to meet. Events have ranged from tidying up Islington Arts Factory to rhododendron clearing in Kingston. London Student Volunteering Fortnight has been running since 2008 and is growing year on year.

Here To… recruit student volunteers from City University

We think student volunteers are brilliant, with their varied skills, often large amounts of free time and enthusiasm for supporting the communities they are living in. We don’t want to miss out on all these amazing secret skills and motivations so are looking forward to helping more students around Islington get involved in improving our borough.

London Student Volunteering Fortnight

We were recently at the City University Volunteering Fair where we had over 50 students sign up to Here To. We were promoting a selection of volunteering roles, including support for events at Platform and Lift Youth Hubs and The Sobell Leisure Centre and Gurus for Here To!

You can find out more information about the different roles by clicking on the links above, we are always looking new people to help out, so see if the skills or motivations match yours and get in touch to sign up.

We already have our first Guru signed up from City University, who will soon be writing a blog about how he will be supporting Here To and charities and community groups across Islington.

If you are a student and want to get involved please do get in touch.