Singh on song with wildlife team


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Volunteering opportunities open up in local councils

PROMOTION: Philip Singh was a volunteer with Calderdale Council’s Countryside and Woodland’s team before landing a full time job with the council team 12 months later

PROMOTION: Philip Singh was a volunteer with Calderdale Council’s Countryside and Woodland’s team before landing a full time job with the council team 12 months later

Whether you are currently unemployed or just searching for some part-time work, volunteering opportunities with Calderdale Council could be just what you are looking for.

More roles than ever could soon be opened up by the West Yorkshire authority as new proposals are discussed by cabinet this weekend.

As well as providing people with an interactive working environment, volunteering also looks great on a CV and gives you the experience of on-the-job training.

Philip Singh, from Calderdale, says he wouldn’t be where he is today without volunteering.

VOLUNTEER: Calderdale councillor, Steve Sweeney, said he was delighted to see ‘over 26 per cent of adults’ in the borough take up volunteering roles

VOLUNTEER: Calderdale councillor, Steve Sweeney, said he was delighted to see ‘over 26 per cent of adults’ in the borough take up volunteering roles

Describing how being a volunteer for Calderdale Council helped to ‘transform his life’, he said: “After finishing my degree in Zoology, I couldn’t work for a long time due to ill health.

“Once I’d recovered, I started volunteering with Calderdale Council’s Countryside and Woodlands team as a way to regain a sense of normality and get back into working life.  

“I’d always wanted to work in countryside management and that’s where my skills are. I helped out with a range of tasks like planting trees, building bridges and managing habitats.

“It really built my confidence, gave me valuable work experience, I met lots of new people and kept myself fit.”

One year later, Philip applied for a full-time job with the council as a Volunteer Co-ordinator for the Countryside and Woodlands team.

“I was thrilled to get the job,” he added. “I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for the skills I developed whilst volunteering.  

“I’m currently managing about 70 volunteers, who do lots of great work to help keep Calderdale so beautiful. We always welcome more volunteers from all backgrounds.”

The new volunteering approach, being discussed by Cabinet, aims to improve access to opportunities in the Council, ensure volunteers have a consistent and positive experience, and boost recognition for their amazing work.  

Cllr Steve Sweeney, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities, said: “We are proud of Calderdale’s vibrant volunteering culture.

“Official Government figures show that over 26 per cent of adults in our borough volunteer regularly – the second highest rate per person in West Yorkshire.

“We are committed to supporting, enabling and celebrating volunteering – by encouraging people to spare their time to help deliver Council services, and by continuing to support local voluntary organisations.”

If you are interested in volunteering for Calderdale Council and want to find out    more, please email volunteer@ calderdale.gov.uk

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