Volunteering

Do you want to work with us to improve our town and the lives of people in it? We welcome volunteers and are grateful for the time, energy and commitment they give to help make our town a better place for everyone.

If you would like to volunteer with us there are many opportunities in our play centres, green spaces, museum, housing service, supporting our drug and alcohol service No More, or our Domestic Abuse service,  or leading health walks. It’s a great way to meet new people, try new activities and learn new skills. Below are some of the opportunities available, along with details of how you can sign up with us, and also with the Red Cross so they can call on you if there is a local emergency.

Stevenage Museum

To volunteer you will need to fill in an application form and send it back to museum@stevenage.gov.uk. To talk to someone first, please phone 01438 218881 or call in and talk to the team at the museum. We take up references and ask you to bring in a photo ID and for some roles you may need a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. The museum is open Wednesday to Friday 10am to 4.30pm and Saturday 10am to 5pm.

People of all ages (14+) volunteer at the museum. They help with enquiries, plan and run events, catalogue the collections, do research for exhibitions and help with refreshments. Younger people are doing their Duke of Edinburgh awards, or looking for experience to help find work or apply to university. Others are interested in local history or perhaps a special project. There is a website, Museum Champions, here, that you can visit to find out more.

Here’s what our volunteers have told that they enjoy most:

  • "It gives you a chance to see what life is like for adults working in museums.”
  • "It was enjoyable to be part of a project that involved the community and seeing them enjoy what we had done.”
  • "We get to study artefacts.”
  • "Being part of a good team, being able to use some of my skills and interests that contribute to the work of the museum.”
  • "To be involved in interesting events that enable me to learn more about the past.”
  • "Even if the physical environment lets us down sometimes (eg flood) the people environment doesn’t.”
  • "A good atmosphere.”

Improving council housing

If you are a council tenant or leaseholder and would like to get involved helping to improve your housing services email the Resident Involvement team (resident.involvement@stevenage.gov.uk) or call them on 01438 242183. You only need to commit to two hours a month but can be involved as much or as little as you like.

We are committed to working with our tenants and leaseholders to improve our housing services. You can be involved in a range of different groups which help us make decisions about the housing service including service changes and development proposals; monitor our performance; and inspect properties to make sure they are well maintained. We report progress back to residents annually against an action plan.

Here’s what our volunteers have told that they enjoy most:

  • “I have learnt so much being involved with the housing contractors – it has really broadened my knowledge.”
  • “I was born locally and want to see Stevenage remain a good place to live for my children and grandchildren.”
  • “I became a resident inspector and I feel like I can help to improve council housing services.”
  • “Being involved keeps my brain active.”
  • “I get a kick out of helping people.”
  • “I have been learning things through being involved - it has been so interesting.”
  • “It has made a difference to my way of thinking to see what the council deals with every day.”

Health walks

Health walk leader volunteers map out walking routes to ensure they are safe, make sure people sign in and complete a registration form, lead on the walk itself making sure all participants stay together and tailoring to individual needs, and complete relevant paper work such as accident forms and risk assessments.  Volunteer leaders need to enjoy the outdoors, rain or shine, be motivating and caring to all participants, and have a passion for seeing people’s health improve through walking.

To get involved and become a health walk leader, firstly try out a health walk. Then attend free health walk leader training which takes place frequently throughout Hertfordshire. After this other leaders will support you on your first walk, before you are fully ready. For further information or to sign up, please contact the Health and Wellbeing team by email leisure@stevenage.gov.uk or phone 01438 242446. He will give further details, book training and put you in contact with our current health walk leaders.

Here’s what our volunteers have told that they enjoy most:

  • “It’s a great way to meet new people who all want to improve their own health through walking.”
  • “Being able to lead something fun and simple, in such nice places in Stevenage, and help make a difference to others is a lovely experience.”

Green Space Volunteers

If you have free time and would like to help improve community green spaces around the town, we would love to hear from you. Our Green Space Volunteers carry out work in the town parks, woodlands and ponds helping with woodland ride maintenance and coppicing, bulb planting, butterfly surveys, improvements to ponds, and the installation of bird and bat boxes. Whether you have 1 hour or 4, everybody’s help is welcomed and valued. Activities normally take place at weekends although there may be some opportunities mid-week.

For more information about our green space volunteers and to apply please visit our green space volunteers page

Here’s what our volunteers have told that they enjoy most:

  • “The friends I have made since joining Green Space Volunteers have been amazing, we all have the same thing in common so all get on so well. You can do as much or as little as you feel capable of on the day, there's no competition. I would certainly recommend it, its great fun and rewarding.”
  • “I love our green parks and open spaces and I wanted to help maintain them and keep them looking good.  I get so much enjoyment out of seeing the difference we make.”
  • “It’s one of the aspects of Green Space Volunteers that I appreciate - that activities are thought through and developed, where appropriate adapting them to meet the interests of individuals ensuring that volunteers are doing something of value for themselves and the town.” 
  • “I like feeling that I’ve contributed in some way to providing a better environment for wildlife and people alike, but I guess I feel more satisfied when I know that I’m contributing to a better wildlife habitat, and if in doing so that educates others in the importance of these habitats that’s even better.”

Stevenage Against Domestic Abuse

Stevenage Against Domestic Abuse (SADA) runs a domestic abuse forum made up of people of all different ages, cultures and backgrounds. We believe everyone has something to offer and welcome volunteers who can offer new ideas and help shape the service. Forum volunteers run a weekly drop-in session to support current victims and survivors. Volunteers also attend public events and staff stalls, to answer questions and share information.

Here’s what our volunteers have told that they enjoy most:

  • “Being a volunteer for the domestic abuse forum has given me a sense of purpose.”
  • “I feel part of something really important, having been a victim of domestic abuse and being able to have a say in the way that victims and survivors needs are met here in Stevenage has been very empowering.”
  • “I have met some wonderful people and made some great friends.”
  • “I have learnt some valuable skills and I am constantly developing new skills.”
  • “It’s important to me as a resident to get involved with what’s going on locally and domestic abuse is something I feel very passionate about.”
  • “Having been part of the forum for two years I have been able to see ideas become woven into the service and become practise.”

If you would like to be involved or find out more about what’s involved, please contact the SADA team by email community.safety@stevenage.gov.uk or call them on 01438 242666.

Anti-Social Behaviour Forum

Members of the ASB forum come from all different backgrounds and are all ages, which helps look at things from different people’s perspectives. The group review records of anti-social behaviour in the town and work with the council ASB team to find solutions to stop nuisance. Our volunteers have a say and help develop the service, as well as reviewing its policies and procedures. Members of the forum have attended various events and even visited the local courts to hear how people’s cases are dealt with.

Here’s what our volunteers have told that they enjoy most:

  • “Being a volunteer and a member of the ASB Forum has meant that I get more of an insight into what is happening in my town.”
  • “It is important that the residents have a say in what happens and that we feel empowered to be involved in developing the service.
  • “I have been part of the forum for a number of years after being involved in an ASB case.”
  • “Visiting events and local courts has given us knowledge on how cases are processed and the other agencies that are involved.

If you would like to be involved or find out more about what’s involved, please contact Catherine Binney of the ASB Forum by email community.safety@stevenage.gov.uk or call them on 01438 242666.

Play service

Our Play team put on holiday and after school clubs for children and welcome adults or teenagers (14+) as volunteers in term time (after school) and in the holidays when they run all-day holiday play schemes. Volunteers have the opportunity to get involved in activities including sharing their skills at gardening, crafts and other activities, supporting the running of the play centres and leading activities. All volunteers are given training in first aid, safeguarding and play work.

Here’s what our volunteers have told that they enjoy most:

  • “Being a volunteer has given me work experience and helped me become more responsible. I want to carry on and become a play worker when I’m older.”
  • “I enjoy helping the children and staff during play sessions, it’s a good use of my spare time.”
  • “I like volunteering at the play centre because I can help the play staff, which gives them more time to do other things.”

Young volunteers who are 14-18 years old will need to fill in an application form. This will need to be returned to the play service at Daneshill House, Danestrete SG1 1HN. Or by email play.section@stevenage.gov.uk All potential young volunteers are interviewed to find out what they would like to gain from volunteering and what they can offer. We also take up references. Potential volunteers can discuss this further by calling the play service on 01438 242246.

Adult volunteers also need to complete an application form, and return it to the play service. An interview will take place to discuss what they would like to gain from volunteering and what they can offer. We will take up references and carry out a DBS check. They can discuss this further by calling the play service on 01438 242246.

Red Cross

Could you help in a local emergency?

When crises such as a large fire, severe weather, accidents or other emergencies hit, local communities naturally want to help. But it’s not always clear how to. The British Red cross has come up with a way in which you can be there for your community in the event of a large-scale crisis – as a community reserve volunteer.

The British Red Cross community reserve volunteer project enables the British Red Cross and local communities to prepare for, respond to and recover from crisis. Anyone can become a community reserve volunteer; no specialist skills are required and quick training is provided at the scene. Volunteers will focus on carrying out practical, behind-the-scenes tasks, specific to each emergency – like preparing kit and equipment or filling sandbags.

By signing up to become a community reserve volunteer, the Red Cross can harness people’s goodwill in advance of a crisis. So if the worst does happen, those registered in that area can have an active role in helping others promptly.

Volunteers will get a text asking if they can help – and if they can they simply text back ‘yes’ to receive further information detailing their shift, where to go and what to bring. You will be part of the official multi-agency response and perform key, useful tasks with the support and direction of the Red Cross.

It’s really easy to become a community reserve volunteer. Those over 18 and living in the UK can sign-up online after watching a short training video. The whole process takes less than ten minutes.