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Volunteer Centre Blog

Hello and welcome to the Volunteer Centre Derby blog. The aim of this blog is to keep you up-to-date with the ongoings of the centre, how our volunteers are doing in their roles, and how our learners and users are getting along.

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Trish is a Reception & Admin Volunteer. She once had lunch with Boris Becker... Well, she didn't really have lunch with him. They just happened to be eating in the same room! She did wave at him, though.

Monday 10 February, 2020:

My name is Tricia. I moved to Derby in September 2019. I started volunteering at Community Action in October 2019, doing Reception and Admin work. 

My reasons for joining Community Action was in the first instance to increase my reception and technology  skills, to get to know Derby and the surrounding area with a view to volunteering in different sectors, and to meet new people.

I have thoroughly enjoyed working with the Community Action Team. The Reception role is very diverse, with such a lot of interesting tasks and responding to the individual needs of the member of the public, who is looking for anything from hiring a room for a meeting to booking a Learn My Way tutorial. There is always someone there to help if you are unsure or need assistance with a technical problem. In December a number of the volunteers got involved with a “Pantomime”, which was enormous fun and was aired on Derby Sound!!

Through Community Action I have discovered different volunteering roles – I am a volunteer “meet and greet” at St Peters Church, and in my most recent role I am training to be a mentor at Children First Derby.


Stef does reception, admin & advising here at Community Action.

Wednesday 18 December, 2019:

Today my volunteering experience was very challenging and at times complicated. I have been a volunteer since March 2019. I am an advisor, so I help individuals find volunteering roles, which I enjoy a lot, as I enjoy helping people. Today I helped an individual with something different to what I usually do, but I learned from it at the same time.

A gentleman wanted help with filling out an application form for universal credit. He wasn’t familiar with computers and didn’t know where to start with it. I am familiar with computers and I still found the process and some of the questions very stressful and frustrating at times. I did feel sorry for the gentleman, as even he said without my help he wouldn’t have known how to do it. That opened my mind and I was thinking about other people out there who are in the same situation as the gentleman today. 

This was the first time today I had filled in the form for someone. I am so pleased I have experienced this as I now know for next time the process of it and how much time it all takes. I could hopefully prepare the individual better next time.

I found the process very challenging, as the gentleman came in on his own, as he was the one who was claiming. After we had filled in the details about him, it then asked for details of the person who he lives with and gave us a claim linking code, but it wouldn’t let us process any further. The gentleman had to go and get his wife from home so she could fill in her details. Then the account would be a joint account.

At the end of it all, I felt relieved that we had finally managed to complete the application, and the gentleman was very pleased too.  


Stuart, who is on the Prince's Trust Team Programme, is currently here on placement as a Reception & Admin Volunteer.

Wednesday 11 December, 2019:

My volunteering experience has been interesting. I have developed my current skillset, including my customer service and admin skills. I also learned how to use technology I didn’t know how to use before coming here, such as using the franking machine.

Community Action provides a wide range of opportunities for anyone who wants to volunteer with little to no limitations on the opportunities that are given. This is a positive, as it gives everyone the chance to find what they want to do and experience actual work experience in that field

My greatest challenge at Community Action has been getting use to using the telephone, as the telephone layout has been different from previous telephones I’ve used, especially when it comes to transferring calls to staff members.

I volunteer at Community Action to increase my current experience in reception and admin work to help prepare me for a full-time job within the business admin work sector.

Community Action has helped trained me in common office equipment, which will benefit me when I start full-time employment.

My role at Community Action is Reception & Admin Volunteer, so I’m the first point of contact for visitors as they come in the door - I always greet them with a smile. I also handle incoming calls and direct them to the appropriate staff member. If the staff member is not in then I take a message and then email the staff member the message that has been left.

From my time at Community Action, I have learned about databases as well as the definition for signposting, how Community Action does it, and how it benefits them.