Marketing Support
Third Sector / Community Engagement - Bolton CVS

Attracted to the community and voluntary sector I looked at how I could get involved using my skills and expertise to help, initially working with Volunteer Centre Bolton, which would in time be incorporated into Bolton CVS.

Volunteer Bolton - public event for community groups and charities It was a first insight into the importance and value of the Third Sector and the contribution made to the economy and in particular the value of volunteers giving their time to make things happen in communities through new projects, or by providing services that either support public bodies such as Councils or other agencies, or meet a need that is simply not being met - support that makes a real difference to society.

Activities included marketing support, copy-writing, newsletters, market research, report writing and some administration work; together with the volunteer co-ordinator I worked with an external agency to produce a new brand image and literature for a campaign to encourage more volunteering from hard-to-reach groups, coming up with the Marketing Brief and originating ideas for themes and copy for marketing leaflets.

Campaign poster - Volunteering Makes Me Smile New volunteering leaflet incorporating new branding (face) New volunteering leaflet incorporating new branding (rear and copy)

One of six campaign posters and new volunteering leaflet.

I was also involved in producing both a comprehensive Marketing Review and Forward Plan, and an Integrated Marketing Communications Plan, highlighting the need for branding, message consistency and media options available. In essence, bringing external marketing expertise to join up thinking and provide focus.

Volunteer Bolton - flyers produced. Tweaked for following years I was involved in profile raising events such as Volunteer Bolton held during National Volunteers Week - helping out, but often being the 'official photographer' tying in with promotion and marketing activities.

A spin-off from this was an assignment for Youth Justice Service - producing a proposal for improving the marketing and promoting the service in order to raise the profile and increase take-up and referrals. This would involve spending time at an Attendance Centre to experience the service first hand and undertaking further research.

For some years I was the Chair of the Volunteer Co-ordinators Forum, a forum for sector managers and co-ordinators to provide a network, insights and training for those managing volunteers. Like any network, there is strength in knowing that support is available and that there are others doing similar things or who have valuable experience to share.