TWO former council workers have set up their own company to help people find volunteering opportunities.
Chris Bushby and Pete Read founded Discover Volunteering to give residents of Lincolnshire, Rutland and Peterborough support and advice on volunteering.
The pair were previously part of Lincolnshire County Council’s three-man volunteer advisor team and toured the county’s schools and colleges helping young people aged 16 to 25 get volunteering experience in their communities.
But last year the Government pulled much of its funding for the programme. Chris and Pete decided to go it alone and set up their new company in the Eventus business centre in Market Deeping.
Chris, 43, who lives in Thrapston, Northamptonshire, said: “We wanted to carry on the work we were doing because we loved doing it.
“We took the gamble to set up a not-for-profit company to see if we could carry on. It is no different to what we used to do but now we have to attract local businesses to support the community projects and the schemes we are doing with volunteers.”
The company’s website, www.discovervolunteering.org is online and Chris and Pete are hoping to fill it with “opportunities” for volunteering from charities and community groups.
Some of those signed up already include Stamford youth group Teenzone and the Wildcats Theatre School.
Chris added: “The idea is to try to get as many local charities as possible to showcase what they do. They can upload opportunities and events. We are trying to get as many charities on there as possible so they can show what they are doing.
“Volunteers can also sign up and showcase themselves. They can talk about their experiences and upload videos. It’s very social, hearing from volunteers encourages others to take part.”
While the website is an important part of the company, Chris and Pete will spend much of their time meeting with potential volunteers to find out their interests and find an opportunity that suits them.
They are also meeting businesses to get sponsorship for volunteering schemes and community events. The pair are keen to hear from as many groups and businesses as possible so they can offer the widest range of volunteering experiences available.
Chris added: “We have huge experience in this area. It is exciting and we love doing it.”
To find out more visit the website or call 01778 382753.