Jay Silver (manager of the Community Support Team at Leeds-based charity Touchstone) gave a presentation on “Best Practice in Volunteering” at a recent conference held in Leeds’ twin city Brno, Czech Republic. Leeds was also represented at the conference by Karol Thornton from Youth Offending Leeds.
The conference on the subject of young people volunteering in social services was hosted by Czech NGO Ratolest Brno as part of the European Year of the Volunteer.
Touchstone had been invited to contribute to the conference – which drew participants from Germany, Lithuania, Poland, Austria and the Ukraine as well as the Czech Republic and UK – in recognition of the success of their Community Volunteers Project. Touchstone provides carefully planned training and support to all volunteers, helping them to get the most out of their time with the organisation, as well as ensuring that the people who use Touchstone’s services receive an exceptional standard of service.
In her presentation, Jay described some of the mechanisms that Touchstone uses to support volunteers including training, supervision, CRB checking, Individual Development Plans and support for volunteers to identify and achieve their own goals.
“Our Brno hosts were extremely friendly, very supportive and helpful”, said Jay. “Over all, it was a fantastic experience and I’m really glad I got that chance to go.”
Touchstone provides a variety of health and well-being services in Leeds and Kirklees, including one-to-one support, group work, housing and community development.