Charities who are in desperate need of help and willing volunteers keen to give their time can now be matched online thanks to a new and simple initiative.
Kentvolunteers.org.uk is about to become the charity sector’s equivalent of online recruitment or online dating – matching prospective organisations looking for help with suitable helpers.
The initiative from the Lord Lieutenant of Kent – the Queen’s personal representative in the county – is described as creating a ‘simple handshake’ between prospective volunteers and charities.
Deputy Lieutenant Paul Auston explained: “Kent Volunteers fills a gap. There are many people in our diverse community who would like to help others around them and much reliance has been placed on word of mouth but now Kent Volunteers aims to link those who can to those that need.”
Both members of the public keen to donate their time and organisations requiring support to bolster their workforce can register with the entirely-free website, which launched this week.
Kent Volunteers also lists all volunteering opportunities currently available to enable prospective helpers to see the kind of work and jobs on offer to them.
Current roles already listed on the site include a gardening volunteer for a hospice, volunteer drivers to take the elderly to medical appointments and various roles in the county’s charity shops and distribution centres.
There are an estimated 170,000 charities across the UK with more than 90% of them having no paid staff and relying on the support and help of volunteers in order to operate.
The Lord-Lieutenant of Kent, Viscount De L’Isle said: “The effectiveness of this website will only work if those charities needing to recruit use it, and those individuals wishing to volunteer, access it. There must be many individuals who are willing to give time to a wide variety of causes.”
Mr Auston says everyone behind Kent Volunteers has high hopes for the project.
He added: “We have spent a great deal of time in the creation of the website, it has the full support of Kent County Council which is delighted by the initiative and we hope that it will give the people of the county a greater understanding of what the Kent Lieutenancy is and the work it does.T