Speed dating for volunteers

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After the success of last year’s volunteers ‘speed dating’ event, the Department of Health is once again running a big volunteer recruitment drive.

This year’s event, organised by the Noble’s Hospital Volunteer Service, will be held on Saturday, March 1, in the Garden Room at the Sefton Hotel, between 10am and 2pm.

The theme will be ‘Adopt a Happy Family’ and organisations actively looking to recruit volunteers will have a chance to meet members of the public interested in volunteering their time, with the potential for them to become a part of a charity’s ‘Happy Family’

Keeping all of the ‘families’ in order on the day will be Manx Telecom TV’s Paul Moulton, who will be Master of Ceremonies for the second year running.

Last year up to 30 of the island’s voluntary organisations took part in a first of its kind volunteer ‘speed dating’ event, which saw members of the public interested in volunteering circulate between different stands, giving both parties the chance to ask and answer questions, before moving on to the next stand after a set time. The event was very well attended, with many lasting partnerships formed. The diversity of the organisations taking part helped to make the day both fun and interesting.

Alison Lester, volunteer service manager at Noble’s Hospital, who has led the initiative said: ‘Last year’s event was very well attended not only by members of the public but also the voluntary sector – we were inundated with requests from organisations who wanted to take part.

‘We’re hoping that this year will be equally successful and I would encourage organisations to come forward now and put their name on the list if they would like to take part, as space will once again be limited and on a first come, first served basis.

‘The “speed dating” approach worked extremely well, and certainly gave the event a novel twist. We want to keep the event fresh so this year we’ve gone for a “Happy Families” theme, based on the popular card game.

‘I would also like to take the opportunity to say thank you to the Sefton Group for once again sponsoring our volunteer recruitment event.’

Any organisations wishing to recruit volunteers and take part in this event should book a place by contacting the Noble’s Hospital Volunteer Service on 650720 or by e-mailing alison.lester@gov.im / kate.hutchinson@gov.im.

The March 1 event will mark the beginning of the first-ever Isle of Man Volunteers Week, which will be a chance for all of the island’s voluntary organisations to recruit, reward and recognise the support people give to volunteering, and the role it plays in the island’s community.

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