During June, we've been thinking a lot about our volunteers, remembering that when Boaz first started, everyone was a volunteer! Volunteer hosts, a volunteer leader (Dave Smith) and our volunteer trustees. Since then we've grown as an organisation and we're so grateful for everyone who has volunteered during that time.
We've had volunteers who've served for many, many years, others who have dipped in and out and some who have volunteered for particular season or project. We've had students, newly retired people, people who were looking to change to a new career and people who have been through the asylum process themselves. Volunteers have helped out with interpreting, fundraising, leading activities, driving, teaching, supporting our office admin, bookkeeping, cooking, making tea, baking cakes, hosting and much, much more.
At Boaz, one of the challenges we face is that we can't always provide as many volunteering opportunities as we would like, and all too often we have to say no to people who'd love to get involved in specific ways. So here are some thoughts on what you can do if you have time to spare and would like to get involved in our work with people who are seeking asylum:
Keep in touch with us through our newsletters, website and social media. When we're looking for specific volunteers we tend to share through these tools.
Get in touch with us and ask! We can't always offer the exact opportunity you might be looking for but it's worth asking- especially during night shelter season.
This is cheeky, but currently very much needed: could you help us by fundraising? Perhaps organising a small event, a cake sale, or a sponsored walk? What about having a car boot sale, a concert or selling some home made crafts or produce?
We'd love to do loads more more local fundraising events- it's a great way to raise money and meet new people too and the more people who get involved in this, the better! If just 15 people who read this committed to raise £100, that could cover the cost of one person staying in a safe, stable Boaz house for a whole year!
Depending on where you're based, there may be other local opportunities to get stuck in. Our friends at Manchester City of Sanctuary are always looking for volunteers and their work is really growing at the moment so it's a great time to make contact!
We wholeheartedly believe that when we face so many divisions in our society, bringing people together and providing opportunities to work alongside each other through volunteering can truly have a transformative effect. If you're not already involved and have got time to spare, please do have a think about what you can do make a difference through volunteering your time this year.