25 February 2020

What's in store at Volunteer Training and Update Days

Reasons to love March – spring is in the air, the clocks go forwards and it’s our Volunteer Training and Update Days!

Taking place this year in Birmingham on Saturday 7 March and, for the first time, Edinburgh on Saturday 28 March, these days are when the new season really kicks off in earnest.

Yes the days are about bringing all our incredible volunteers up-to-date with anything new and making sure everyone has the information and knowledge they need to ensure the young people on this year’s trips get the best outcomes possible.

But, beyond that, it’s a chance for everybody – whether a returning or new volunteer – to meet or meet up, spend time together and really start buzzing about what lies ahead.

Head start

This year we’re delighted to be welcoming Gavin Sterry, a Deputy Headteacher from Shropshire, who is an expert in mental health and a qualified Mental Health First Aid Instructor, to deliver two workshops at both events.

Gavin spoke at our Skippers’ Conference last year, and made such an impact with his insight into young people’s mental health, that we wanted everyone involved with our trips to benefit from his knowledge and advice.

We all know cancer has a significant impact on young people’s emotional and mental wellbeing with feelings of depression, anxiety and isolation all too common. Combine that with the everyday challenges of growing up, and it’s little wonder young people need ongoing support in their recovery from cancer. Gavin’s session will help our volunteers be better prepared and equipped for questions they might get asked or scenarios they might face.

Bring in the new

As well as heading to Scotland’s capital city for the first time, there’s also a change of scenery for those heading to the Midlands as this year’s event moves to Conference Aston, based on the Aston University campus.

Amongst the other new sessions to support volunteers in preparing for the season ahead are ‘Helping Young People Build Their Confidence’, ‘Travelling With Young People’, ‘Volunteering on Residential Trips’ and ‘Do More Good - Making A Difference All Year Round’.

And of course there will be a new Luke Gilbert Volunteer of the Year, as last year’s award winner, Rosa Coker Burnett, hands over the accolade to the volunteer who was deemed by young people, staff and other volunteers to have stood out during the 2019 trip season. The latest Long Service Awards will be presented too.

And of course there will be the traditional updates from all the Trust team. More than 150 volunteers (gulp!) are expected across the two events and we cannot wait to see each and every one of you! The countdown is on…