BCM needs volunteers to keep operating and helping those in need in our city. At the moment we particularly need volunteers…
…at the Resource Centre
• Drivers for Thursday
• Driver’s Mate for Monday
…at the Care Centre
• Helpers for new opening on Monday evenings (from end of May)
…at the shop
• Helpers for Tuesday am, Wednesday & Thursday pm and all day Saturday
• Visitors all week
• Bus Couriers for Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday
For other volunteer opportunities at BCM, click here.
If you can help please get in touch with Derek on 0121 766 6603 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Jean talks about why she decided to become a BCM volunteer and make a real difference…
I joined the Department for Work and Pensions at 18 and retired in October 2015 at 56. I got promoted many times until I became a Senior Operations Manager for Jobcentre Plus. I was responsible for the operation of all the Jobcentres in Birmingham and Solihull and later in the Black Country (Dudley, Sandwell, Wolverhampton and Walsall), recruiting staff, firing them, developing and promoting them. It was a very busy job!
I was managing the Jobcentre in Longbridge in 2005, the year MG Rover collapsed. Knowing that these workers would not be paid and that they really did not expect such an abrupt end to their jobs and careers I turned Longbridge Jobcentre into a one-stop shop, invited advisors in so that people claiming benefit could talk to specialists about pensions, mortgages, debt, re-training and work. I extended the office opening hours from 9am-5pm to 8am-9pm 7 days a week so that workers could receive their money quickly and start job hunting. Once all the claims had been taken we began the task of finding alternative work for all of the workers. Within a year 98% were working. As a result of this work I was awarded an MBE in October 2007.
I don’t really know when I first heard of BCM. I’d been aware for years of harvest produce being delivered to the Mission. My first actual involvement was when I did the SleepOut in February 2008. At the time I was working in Birmingham and Solihull and had 1,700 staff. I knew that if I did it, many would sponsor me and I could easily raise money for BCM. The experience I did not enjoy! A very cold night; feeling vulnerable despite having others around; shocked at how noisy the cars were, zooming down Watery Lane, and how little comfort a box could be. However, I would still recommend the experience to others because it changed my opinion of sleeping rough. BCM’s SleepOut is safe compared to sleeping in doorways and alleys but it does give an insight into the life of a homeless person.
I have been volunteering one day a week at BCM for the past year. Generally I work in the Office, answering telephone calls and working on specific projects. My current one is finding companies that will donate gifts that we can auction at our Barn Dance and Charity Auction in June. Other challenges have included finding single beds for the Resource Centre, sourcing carpet tiles, etc. I have also worked on BCM’s safeguarding policy.
Working one day gives structure to my week; it enables me to meet people; and it gives me a purpose. I have always liked making a difference and in a very small way I feel I am doing that.
I would recommend volunteering. It’s good to have something new to concentrate on, good to keep skills developed during your working life up to date and great to use them to benefit others.