Volunteering is an important part of the Flying Start journey for our Luton community. We value the important contributions that volunteers make in helping to improve the quality of life for both those who take part or who benefit from a volunteering activity.
Flying Start aims to make a difference to families by engaging with communities to build strong and supportive networks. This approach allows Flying Start to share key messages in a trusted way through a peer-to-peer approach.
Flying Start has customized opportunities for the community to be involved, through two main roles which will form as an umbrella model in continuing to offer community partnerships and engagement.
- Parent Champion volunteer
- Starting Well Buddy volunteer
Volunteers have played a major role in supporting the community during the pandemic, continuing to reach out to residents in a safe manner. The volunteers have creatively used social media and apps to engage with families in delivering key messages.
Our volunteers adapted to platforms such as Zoom to continue in their journey of learning and development,with training opportunities, both from Flying Start and partner organisations. The first face to face training for existing volunteers was a success with 18 in attendance.
Volunteers have also supported with translation on various projects. The new service of Starting Well has seen volunteers become a part of a Co-Production format, aptly named Working Together which further strengthens the role of community engagement in having a voice on how services should reflect the need on the ground.
The first face to face Baby Sensory session was supported by an experienced volunteer, which provided great feedback from families of the value of having someone who was able to relate first hand to their experiences, especially in becoming parents during lockdown.
New developments for family support have seen new businesses start-up allowing for wider engagement. Flying Start volunteers, Baby Massage and Stay and Play groups have ensured partnership engagements are reaching the wider communities.
The Flying Start volunteers are also testimony of how becoming a volunteer has shaped their personal journeys. Many have gone onto paid positions in the community for example University of Bedfordshire and as Learning Support Assistants in schools. Flying Start has also recently recruited two of our previous volunteers to our team;
- Volunteer Administration support
- Starting Well Early Years Workers
Flying Start Volunteer recruitment processes will re-commence in September and will now include e-learning formats to ensure we are able to give the community a greater choice of access to get involved. The recruitment will consist of a number of processes;
- Training: Overview of Flying Start and the Key Messages
- Further developmental training (dependant on role chosen)
Volunteers will be supported by the Community Volunteer Co-ordinator