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You are invited to attend

Bedford Borough Council’s Culture and Leisure Services Volunteer Fair

Saturday 25 February 2017 - 10am till 4.00pm

The Harpur Suite Bedford (next to Bedford Central Library)

Drop-in any time


Staff and current volunteers will be on hand to talk about why they volunteer and about the opportunities available for volunteers within Bedford’s cultural venues. There are many benefits to volunteering.


Some of the volunteers have said:


'I wanted to do something to give back to the arts and culture community by getting involved in The Higgins Bedford. '


'I like being part of a team that is working hard to benefit our local community'


'Volunteering is helping me to ease back into the world of work'


The volunteer fair will be a great informal chance to meet with current volunteers and chat with them about their experiences. Light refreshments will be provided and there will be the opportunity to see films showing the tremendous contribution volunteers make to Bedford’s cultural life. 


For current volunteers it’s a great chance to meet and network with other staff and volunteers that you don’t frequently get to meet, to raise questions and talk about your experiences.


Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture, Councillor Sarah-Jayne Holland said: ‘Last year volunteers contributed over 6,000 hours at The Higgins Bedford; helped us put on events like the River Festival; joined us in community clean ups; and allowed us to provide a number of sports activities to people across Bedford Borough.’


‘Volunteers play a key role in enhancing Bedford Borough’s Cultural Services and the team are keen to build on their successes in 2017. I would encourage all our residents to think about what they might be able to offer to our local community and to come along on February 25th to find out more about volunteering.’


For further information on volunteering opportunities or the Volunteer Fair, please email rosie.newbigging@bedford.gov.uk


Volunteering at The Higgins Bedford

In the past year, The Higgins Bedford volunteer community has increased from 20 people in January 2016 to 100 volunteers in January 2017. Volunteers at the museum contributed over 6,000 hours of their time in all areas of museum life in the last 12 months. The volunteer opportunities at the museum include meeting and greeting visitors, leading tour groups, leading school groups and family learning sessions, helping out at special events, helping to develop the gardens surrounding the museum, researching forthcoming exhibitions, promoting the museum, and helping in the museum shop. During 2016 volunteers have helped to research the stunning exhibition Picasso & the Masters of Print as well as helping to develop Objects From Distant Lands for Refugee Week and assisting with organising the Black History Month event. The volunteer contribution was invaluable at BedPop Science Lab in March 2016 when the museum had a staggering 1,700 visitors during the day.


Volunteering with the Library Service

During 2016 the Library service was supported by over 100 volunteers, who gave almost 3000 hours of their time to the service. The opportunities for volunteering within the library service include helping with the Summer Reading Challenge and the children’s activities, helping to enhance the visitor experience by keeping the libraries tidy and the books in good order, helping to make the gardens at Putnoe library a beautiful place to read and assisting library visitors to gain confidence in using the internet and email.


Volunteering at Bedford Corn Exchange, Bromham Mill, Moot Hall and Bedford Events

There are many ways to get involved with cultural events across Bedford. In 2018 Bedford River Festival will be the biggest yet, in 2016 the event attracted over 300,000 visitors and there are plenty of opportunities to help to make it even better. As well as the River Festival, there are opportunities to help with Bedford’s busy calendar of public events including the Christmas Lights Switch On, the International Kite Festival and Bromham Mill Apple Day. The café at Bromham Mill is always a relaxing place to visit and there are opportunities to join the team there. If you enjoy history you can support the museum team at Moot Hall with events such as Heritage Open Days. Volunteering roles at the Corn Exchange include meeting and greeting customers and stewarding some of the high-profile, exciting shows and concerts at the venue.


Volunteering with the Clean, Safe & Green Team

For volunteers that enjoy outdoor roles, it’s possible to assist Bedford’s Clean, Safe & Green Team with improving our parks and green spaces for the local community. You can become a Park Champion, working to maintain and enhance Bedford’s beautiful parks with the expert advice and guidance of our Park Guardians. You can become an Event Champion, assisting the Borough Council teams to deliver Bedford’s busy and popular calendar of events throughout the year. Finally you can volunteer to become a Community Champion and help to take extra care of your local area by litter picking, reporting issues and encouraging everyone to take care and pride in our town. Volunteers contributed and amazing 3765 volunteer hours helping keep our town clean, safe and green last year.


Volunteering with the Sports Development Team


The Sports Development Team run a wide range of activities, programmes and events during the year. There are a arrange of initiatives aimed at specific groups in the community, including, older people,  those with disabilities and children. The team employ qualified coaches to deliver sessions but there are opportunities for volunteers to assist with the organisation and administration of events.

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