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Volunteering

Volunteer for Calibre - great fun in a good cause

“Without our wonderful volunteers we could not provide a free service to members. We can’t thank them enough.”
Martin Findlay, former Chairman

A Volunteer Satisfaction Survey in early 2015 found that 97% of volunteers who had received training in the last six months felt capable of carrying out their new tasks as a result. 100% of volunteers who took part in the focus groups felt more involved in the process of change afterwards. 86% said volunteering at Calibre improved their quality of life and 96% would recommend it to a friend.

Here’s what some of our volunteers have said in the survey about volunteering with us:

  • Calibre helped fill the enormous gap left in my life after the death of my husband, who had needed 24-hour care for quite a long time. I have also made new friends
     
  • Being a Forces wife, I find it hard to find employment. Volunteering at Calibre gives me contact with other people and gave me back my confidence and something to look forward to.
     
  • Knowing that working with Calibre is helping others gives me much pleasure. Also, as someone who lives alone, it helps me tremendously to meet all the lovely people who work here.

For more details about some of our volunteers please see stories Volunteer Stories.

If you live in the Aylesbury area and are looking for something rewarding and worthwhile to do in your spare time, why not think about volunteering for Calibre, like twins Vera and Barbara?

Please see our Vacancies page for opportunities that are currently available.

Twins Volunteering in Calibre's Library

What kind of jobs?

  • Getting new books into the library - new recordings are checked by a team of volunteers then, once corrected they are ready to be digitally mastered for the library. We are pleased to welcome volunteers with special skills and David (shown below) helps to make copies of new books from the digital masters to stock our shelves.

David volunteers in Production department

  • Sending books to members - a team of volunteers work to ensure that our members are never without a book. They select disks from library shelves, pack them and prepare them for posting. They helped us dispatch almost 400,000 books per year to members.
     
  • We are currently seeking volunteers to check master recordings for accuracy - this is a home-based role. For more information please refer to our Audio Checkers page.
     
  • Special projects - our Buzzword newsletter for Young Calibre members is compiled with help from young people at local schools.
    Our 2015 Buzzword audio newsletter for Young Calibre members was put together by volunteers Cara, Anna and Charley from Aylesbury High School, who spent three afternoons a week here from September to December 2014 working with our publicity officer and digital studio manager to write and record the script. Each year, we give three students the opportunity to do their Community Involvement Placement here and gain experience of working in our sound studio.
    Charley said afterwards: “Working at Calibre to create 'Buzzword' has been an extremely enjoyable and unparalleled experience in allowing me to work in an environment with a great ethos, in addition to being a fantastic opportunity to work with digital mediums and script-writing to further my interest in an area I wish to study at university and hopefully pursue a career in. This format was very intriguing to write for as I had to consider a new kind of audience, and I enjoyed working with my friends and the people at Calibre to create something that would not only be important to the charity but also to reach the people that benefit from the organisation. My community involvement has been instrumental in helping me develop new skills whilst improving those I already possess and I am incredibly lucky that the people who were working alongside me at Calibre were so lovely.”
      

 

Our Buzzword tea, Charley, Cara and Anna
  

 

 

                                                                                                                        

Last year over 100 volunteers put in 17,500 hours of work helping to run our day-to-day services.

Flexible and friendly

Most of our volunteers work a morning or afternoon at our offices, though some prefer to stay for a full day. We can offer flexible hours to suit your needs but we do prefer it if you can make a regular commitment. Normal office hours are 9 am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Our volunteer co-ordinator makes sure that you are made to feel welcome and arranges an induction programme to help you get to know us and the work.

Our offices are light, bright and wheelchair accessible and we have a kitchen where you can make drinks and snacks. We have plenty of parking and buses from Aylesbury town centre stop nearby on the A41.

Volunteers in USB Room

 

 

 

 

 

 

Corporate Support

We are often able to offer short-term placements to corporate teams or work experience for school pupils. Recent corporate volunteer teams have included Dun and Bradstreet and the RAF Catering Squadron. Pupils from Henry Flloyd and Aylesbury High School have also helped us with specific projects - more information is available on our News pages. In the last year, a further seven young people from four local schools have done work experience placements in our library. Please call us on 01296 432339 for more details.

What our volunteers say

Some of our volunteers have been with us for decades for the simple reason that they enjoy it so much. Here is what they say about volunteering for Calibre.

  • "I have done lots of voluntary jobs but this is definitely the best."
  • "I love coming here. Everyone is so friendly."
  • "You really get a sense that you are doing something worthwhile. The members' letters are very touching."
  • "I have made some good friends here."
  • "I live on my own - it's just good to get out of the house and do something useful with other people."
  • "I look forward to my morning at Calibre - it's such fun!"
  • "I take the recordings home to check their quality - I feel very privileged actually."

Convinced yet? Why not give it a try!
Just call us on 01296 432 339 to arrange to see our office and talk it through.