Are you a potential or established volunteer supporting health or social care organisations? Or do you work for an organisation that recruits, supports and develops volunteers?

If so, you can now really benefit from a unique, first of its kind service in Northamptonshire that has just launched across the county – the Volunteer Passport https://volunteerpassport.co.uk/.

If you are an individual volunteer, the Volunteer Passport offers you the opportunity to work towards a nationally recognised qualification and develop your volunteering profile for health and social care organisations. It helps clear a path to working with many different recognised voluntary organisations, or could even set you up for a future career.

If you represent a voluntary organisation and need to recruit volunteers, the Volunteer Passport helps you to recruit volunteers, offers free DBS checks and provides access to very informative e-learning and handbooks.

Dr David Smart, Clinical Director at the General Practice Alliance, a federation that supports GPs in Northampton, and which also develops cutting edge resources and initiatives to support the mental and physical resilience of local communities right across Northamptonshire says:

‘The pandemic has revealed the importance of community, sharing and volunteering. Giving is good for all of our wellbeing, it is the first of 10 Keys to Happier Living, promoted by Action For Happiness and now adopted by the Health Care Partnership.

Volunteering has so many benefits it offers to both those giving and receiving. I know from my time and experience as a General Practitioner of the importance of the voluntary sector in contributing to creating healthier communities.

Volunteering helps connect us to people, communities and our values, and can even pave the way to a new and rewarding career in the voluntary or health care sector. The General Practice Alliance is delighted to be supporting this initiative, which ultimately will build resilience amongst our communities in Northamptonshire.’

If you are interested in volunteering, or represent an organisation that recruits and supports volunteers, visit the website (https://volunteerpassport.co.uk/) to find out more.

Chris Holmes, Director, Northamptonshire Sport also commented:

‘This scheme is just what we were waiting for. Volunteers play such a vital function in supporting sport – from helping out at events to creating essential links between all the organisations that promote sport and the voluntary sector.

The synergy between sport, health and wellbeing is increasingly understood, and we are delighted to support the General Practice Alliance and its partners in promoting the Volunteer Passport, so it can bring about a tangible change in improving mental health and wellbeing through sport across Northamptonshire.’

Mary Wetherly, a volunteer that trialled the Volunteer Passport service expressed her thoughts:

‘Volunteering opens so many opportunities to develop as a person. The Volunteer Passport is the ideal platform to support that development. It provides a wealth of information and informative e-learning training courses. It is a great place to start your journey as a volunteer, really enriching the experience for you personally, and ultimately for those that you help.

It also makes the process of volunteering so much quicker and easier. I thoroughly recommend volunteering, and the Volunteer Passport.’

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