A Big Hand for vol­un­teers gets the thumbs up

The Jewish Chronicle - - COMMUNITY LIFE - JC RE­PORTER

BARONESS NEU­BERGER, Gor­don Brown’s cham­pion of vol­un­teer­ing, has praised World Jewish Re­lief’s latest ini­tia­tive.

She ad­dressed the Gold­ers Green launch of WJR’s The Big Hand, through which po­ten­tial helpers will be asked about their skills and in­ter­ests and matched to vol­un­teer­ing va­can­cies. In the spirit of the project, co­or­di­na­tor Lia Bo­god is also con­tribut­ing on a vol­un­tary ba­sis.

The baroness spoke of the im­por­tance of pro­vid­ing “gen­uinely use­ful op­por­tu­ni­ties for vol­un­teers and to present clear ‘asks’ — where are the skills gaps, how can peo­ple make a dif­fer­ence, and so forth”. WJR was do­ing this by avoid­ing “the bu­reau­cracy so of­ten cloud­ing vol­un­teer­ing”.

WJR chief ex­ec­u­tive Paul An­ti­coni said the scheme’s beauty was its sim­plic­ity. “We have laid out a com­pre­hen­sive list of tasks. We will ask for your avail­abil­ity and your in­ter­ests and then as­sign the per­fect match. Each role, no mat­ter how small, is crit­i­cal to our work.”

All of the 85-strong launch au­di­ence signed up to the pro­gramme.

Baroness Neu­berger ( sec­ond right), with Char­lotte Cas­sel­son, Paul Stein and Lia Bo­god at the launch of The Big Hand

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