The Voluntary Care Centre is an independent charity which was founded in 1969, initially to support people living in the Forest Hill & Sydenham area. In recent years it has developed some services that are Lewisham borough wide.
Aims and Objectives
The aim of the VCC is to empower people in the community by:
Providing an easily accessible support service and a focal point for those in need within the local community;
Recruiting, training and placing volunteers in voluntary activities which develop their skills and confidence and enhance the quality of life of the service users.
Recruiting volunteers, provide training, support and supervision;
Providing a Fund to assist financially where most needed, for relief in crisis situations, and to promote social inclusion;
Collating research about needs of the local community.
Who We Help
We operate within an equal opportunities framework and our service users include the following groups:
Disabled people – mentally or physically
People with learning disabilities
Disadvantaged children & families
Refugees and asylum seekers
People in recovery from addictions
Making a Referral
Driving Scheme and Financial Requests:
Referrals must be made by a representative of a voluntary or statutory organisation or group. Referrers must complete a passenger request form which can be obtained from the Centre. Potential Driving Scheme service users must be unable to, or have great difficulty using public transport unaided and the referrer will need to provide information to support this.
We accept referrals from churches, voluntary and statutory organisations, as well as self referrals and referrals from friends and neighbours of potential service users, providing they live within the catchments area/s and fulfil the relevant criteria for the service requested.
For some services there may be a waiting list and they will be prioritised according to need. The service coordinators will endeavour to give an indication as to waiting list times.
Voluntary Care Centre Volunteers
We take up two references for all our potential volunteers and police checks for volunteers working with children and as statutory law requires. Only once satisfactory references have been received are volunteers registered and given placements.
Training and support
Inductions and ongoing training is provided as appropriate. Volunteers are supported on a one-to-one basis by the service coordinators, and regular group support session are organised. Volunteers working in the field of mental health will be supported by, and receive training from, a professional mental health worker.
Volunteers will carry Identity Cards and/or a letter of introduction which will be on headed paper and will include dates, times and tasks agreed between the service user and the Centre.
After the initial visit it is usual for the volunteer and the service user to agree mutually convenient times/dates for future visits. Any changes or additional requests must be agreed first by the service coordinators. Volunteers have a responsibility to keep the service coordinators informed of all arrangements made to ensure that they are covered by our insurance and for record and statistic keeping purposes.
All VCC volunteers are covered by our insurance policy whilst carrying out the agreed task/s given by the service coordinators.
Volunteers are reimbursed for their travel, mileage, telephone and any other reasonable expense that they may incur during the course of their voluntary work.
It is prohibited for volunteers to accept any payment or gifts, but should a service user wants to make a contribution for any work carried out by a volunteer, they are invited to contact the service coordinator for details. All voluntary contributions will be put into our community fund to support people in need in our geographical area.
The Voluntary Care Centre believes that you have the right to make complaints or criticism on matters which cause you concern in regard to the service we provide. All complaints will be considered extremely carefully and investigated fully.
In the first instance, if you wish to make a complaint you should raise the matter with the service coordinator who will investigate and resolve the issue if possible.
If you are not satisfied with the result, the matter will be referred to the centre manager who will arrange a meeting with you. You have the right to be accompanied at the meeting.
If you are unhappy with any decision you have the right to appeal to the management body, who take up your appeal.
During the course of the investigation of any complaint, such matters will be treated with strict confidentiality and will be discussed only with those immediately concerned.
(SE23 & 26 and parts of SE4 & 6)
Sitting/relief for carers
DIY and Decorating
We operate a fund that is supported by local churches, schools, businesses, individuals and fundraising activities to enable us to carry out the following services:
Supporting disadvantaged children and families and vulnerable adults and individuals or groups at risk in our area by providing childrens safety equipment, resources to relieve poverty and crisis situations.
Day trips for Children/families and the elderly
Borough Wide Services
Volunteer Driving Scheme (transporting people who would have great difficulty using public transport)
Weekly social club for people who have/had mental health difficulties (run by VCC volunteers and supported by the VCC Coordinator and local Mental Health Authority trainer/facilitator)
All of our services promote social inclusion and empowerment, our aim is to expand our work to meet the growing needs in the wider community.
Why not do your Christmas shopping and help us to raise much needed funds at the same time? Use our Amazon link below!
Fundraising Auction 2012, can you help?
VCC is planning a Charity auction later in 2012 and are looking for assistance as well as items for the auction...