Organiser for Volunteer Placements in Schools in North Somerset

RSVP West (Retired and Senior Volunteer Programme)

Name: Organiser for Volunteer Placements in Schools in North Somerset
Organisation: RSVP West (Retired and Senior Volunteer Programme)
Type: Part Time
The role is very flexible. Most activities can be carried out from the role-holder’s home. Meetings with volunteers, school staff and other schools organisers are arranged by mutual convenience.


This is a rewarding and enjoyable role matching and placing reading/numeracy volunteers within schools (mainly primary) in North Somerset. The role-holder will be one of a small team that places volunteers in schools in Bristol (x3 organisers), BANES, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire. The role involves taking up references for potential school volunteers in N Somerset and then meeting the volunteer informally to discuss what is involved in being a reading 'buddy' and which schools are currently looking for volunteers. The organiser then contacts the agreed host school, arranges a meeting in school to introduce the new volunteer to the school and provides ongoing support as required.

Most of the work can be carried out from the role-holder’s home but the six RSVP West schools organisers also meet periodically to discuss and implement activities such training sessions (including the creation of a Reading Handbook to support volunteers) and social/networking events for reading volunteers.

The N Somerset schools organiser could also act as a reading volunteer in a local school, but this is not essential in order to carry out the organiser role.

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Organisation Description

RSVP West is a region of RSVP (Retired and Senior Volunteer Programme, part of the national volunteering charity Volunteering Matters). Our area includes Bristol, North Somerset, South Gloucestershire and Bath & North East Somerset".

The region is financially independent and supported by a registered charity, ‘Friends of RSVP West Region’.

Our mission is to encourage the over 50s to volunteer for the benefit of their local community and to provide you with appropriate training and support.
At RSVP West we are volunteer-led and have no salaried staff and that includes our Regional Coordinator and members of the management team.
The Region has over 700 members and is growing fast. Most of these work in groups led by Project Organisers who coordinate their work.
Some volunteers work within a particular geographical area; others are involved in specific areas of activity such as community care, transport services, care homes, ‘older people’ projects and our schools programme. Yet more have responsibility for internal activities such as Office Administration, Information Systems (IT), the Membership and Projects Database and Bookkeeping.

We work in groups to recreate the fellowship we enjoyed during our working lives and if you do join we will ask you to:
• choose what you become involved with – that might be one or more activities
• decide how much time you would like to donate and when
• keep to the commitments you have made


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Cause / Interests

  • Children
  • Education and Literacy
  • Elderly

Types of Activity

  • Administration
  • Advice, Information and Support
  • Community Work

Skills and Qualifications


This role would suit someone aged 50+ (a requirement for membership of RSVP West) who enjoys interacting with a range of people (e.g. volunteers, teachers, other RSVP organisers) and who wants to help foster a love of reading and/or numeracy amongst youngsters. You need to be reliable, friendly and have good organisational skills. You also need basic IT skills in order to maintain records, read/write documents in Word and use email. Some experience/background in schools and education would be helpful but this is by no means essential. Although much of the work can be done from home, the volunteer ideally needs to live in the N Somerset area in order to be able to meet volunteers and visit local schools.

Practical Considerations: ownership of, or secure access to, a computer is essential.


This is a rewarding and enjoyable role providing the opportunity to interact with a wide range of people (volunteers, teachers and other schools organisers). Friendly, twice-yearly, well-attended recognition/social events are held over coffee and cakes for all volunteers and organisers to network and compare experiences. It is very rewarding to play a part in improving youngsters’ educational opportunities and to provide support to local schools. There are opportunities to contribute to creating resources (e.g. a Reading Handbook and the charity’s twice-yearly Newsletter).

Additional/Specific Suitabilities

Minimum Age: 50
Maximum Age: NA
Disabled Access: No
Wheelchair Access: No
Expenses: All out-of-pocket expenses will be reimbursed by RSVP West providing receipts are kept.
Restrictions: NA
Induction: Will be provided by RSVP West Regional Schools Development Organiser.
Insurance Cover: Provided by parent charity, Volunteering Matters
Special Needs: NA
Offer: Ongoing by RSVP West Regional Schools Development Organiser and other Schools Organisers
Training: Ongoing by RSVP West Regional Schools Development Organiser and other Schools Organisers
Other: NA

Recruitment Method

Application form, References, Information Day, DBS Check, Interview