VOL­UN­TEER COR­NER

The Wokingham Paper - - VIEWPOINTS - With He­lena Bad­ger

BC to read re­cruit, train and sup­port vol­un­teers who work on a 1:1 ba­sis with pri­mary school chil­dren who are strug­gling with read­ing. Vol­un­teers will visit a lo­cal pri­mary school on a weekly ba­sis and works with chil­dren in­di­vid­u­ally see­ing the same chil­dren on each visit, talk­ing and read­ing and play­ing games with them. The vol­un­teers are sup­ported by a field worker who is avail­able to pro­vide ideas and act as a link be­tween the char­ity and the school. Their next train­ing course is be­ing held on 25th Jan­uary 2019.

The Cit­i­zens Ad­vice Bu­reau gives free, con­fi­den­tial ad­vice on ev­ery sub­ject from debt, ben­e­fits, hous­ing and em­ploy­ment, to law, im­mi­gra­tion and dis­crim­i­na­tion. It is in­de­pen­dent and gives ad­vice in an un­bi­ased way. Wokingham Cit­i­zen’s Ad­vice Bu­reau is cur­rently in need of Vol­un­teer Re­cep­tion/Ad­min­is­tra­tors on Thurs­day AM/Thurs­day PM/Fri­day AM. The Re­cep­tion/ Ad­min role in­volves be­ing the first point of con­tact for en­quiries and book­ing ap­point­ments when nec­es­sary. Vol­un­teer must a pro­fes­sional and help­ful man­ner and be IT lit­er­ate.

AS­SIST run two groups, both for teenagers who have autism, one group is for boys the other for girls. The aim of the groups is en­cour­age in­de­pen­dence and teach life skills in a re­laxed and sup­port­ive way. The groups run in a way that suits the young peo­ple at­tend­ing, and pro­vides them with the op­por­tu­nity to prob­lem solve, ei­ther in the group or in­di­vid­u­ally and to learn the so­cial skills that some peo­ple with autism find dif­fi­cult. They meet once a month, at Wood­ley Air­field Cen­tre. The boys group meet on a Satur­day from 11.15am-2.15pm and the girls group on a Sun­day from 11am-3pm. There is an op­por­tu­nity to un­der­take autism train­ing and you will need a DBS.

Lavell’s Wet­land Trust took over from Friends Of Lavell’s Lake July 2018 and they con­tinue to grow our area of in­flu­ence on con­ser­va­tion ac­tiv­i­ties from the North­ern Lake of Din­ton Pas­tures right up to Lea Farm Lake, found North of Lavell’s Lake along the Lod­don. They al­ways need vol­un­teers for the monthly, fourth Sun­day tra­di­tional morn­ing work party, start­ing 10:00 till 14:00, but we wel­come any­one for a lesser amount of time is avail­able.

As well as con­ser­va­tion tasks, they also need help from vol­un­teers with post­ing fre­quent so­cial me­dia posts on our Face­book group, us­ing Twit­ter to pro­mote events, wildlife sight­ings, lat­est news, work par­ties and just about any­thing worth shout­ing from the rooftops about.

They would also re­ally like help en­gag­ing with schools and lo­cal groups, to tell them what can be found, en­cour­ag­ing them to get out in to the coun­try­side, get­ting in­volved, etc. If you come from a man­age­ment back­ground and can help us steer the ship to help us grow our au­di­ence, grow our mem­ber­ship and the pub­lic’s over­all aware­ness, please get in touch.

Please con­tact us at The Wokingham Vol­un­teer Cen­tre for more in­for­ma­tion. Call: 0118 977 0749, email vol­un­teer@wok-vol.org. uk or visit www.vol­un­teer­centre­wok­ing­ham. org.uk

fig­ures as the au­thor Agatha Christie, cam­paigner Vera Brit­tain, Wim­ble­don cham­pion Lot­tie Dod and suf­frag­ist Sophia Duleep Singh.

How­ever, the vast ma­jor­ity of First World War vol­un­teers were or­di­nary women, and men, who cared for the wounded and sick, drove am­bu­lances and acted as clerks, cooks and store­keep­ers.

They gave ded­i­cated, com­pas­sion­ate and skilled hu­man­i­tar­ian ser­vice at a time of na­tional cri­sis and the role of women dur­ing the war, in par­tic­u­lar, led to sig­nif­i­cant so­cial change with women, driven by their war ex­pe­ri­ences, seek­ing greater op­por­tu­ni­ties in the work­place and se­cur­ing the same vot­ing rights as men in 1928.

Given the sheer num­ber of peo­ple who vol­un­teered as VADs dur­ing the First World War, it seems likely that many of your read­ers will have an­ces­tors who gave ser­vice dur­ing the con­flict.

And, to­day, thanks to the pop­u­lar­ity of ge­nealog­i­cal web­sites and TV pro­grammes like Who Do You Think You Are? many are keen to trace their fam­ily trees and bet­ter un­der­stand the lives and war-time roles of their an­ces­tors.

Tra­di­tion­ally, much of that fo­cus has been on the men who served, and in hun­dreds of thou­sands of cases, lost their lives on the front line.

Now, how­ever, your read­ers can use our new on­line VAD data­base to find out if their an­ces­tors, es­pe­cially women rel­a­tives, per­formed a civil­ian role dur­ing the war.

Search­able by name, lo­ca­tion and oc­cu­pa­tion, the data­base in­cludes ser­vice records and, in some cases, pho­to­graphs.

Any­one can ac­cess the web­site at www.vad.red­cross.org.uk and po­ten­tially dis­cover new and il­lu­mi­nat­ing facets to their fam­ily his­tory.

Dr Alas­dair Brooks, Bri­tish Red Cross Her­itage Man­ager, Bri­tish Red Cross, 44 Moor­fields, Lon­don, EC2Y 9AL.

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