Posted in Blog News

A Chief Officer’s perspective

collaborateHere is the second part of Eileen’s interview with Andy Gray. Here she asked him why he thought people should come along and his hopes for the day.

Why should other people come along too?

  • Everyone there has something to bring and it doesn’t matter what your position is in an organisation, everyone is equal and willing to share their skills, knowledge and talents.
  • It will be a stimulating day for anyone and doesn’t matter what role you currently hold, if you are interested and open to fresh thinking, it will be beneficial.
  • It will attract creative people who want to see innovation and test new ground.

… and finally …

Collaboration is what the day is all about and as charities moving forward, collaboration will be a watch word.  We will have to work together to meet change and social media will be a useful tool, as people using it appear willing to share their experiences and learn together.

Posted in Blog News

The art of the possible – looking at what we could achieve!

Page 4 Andy Gray  croppedAndy Gray is Chief Officer of Dudley CVS and has been invited to attend the second VCSS Camp this year. Eileen from the Planning Team, who works at Dudley CVS, invited him to share this thoughts and expectations on the value of attending VCSSCamp 2014.

Why are you coming to VCSSCamp?

I am interested in looking at how, through social media, you can discover fresh thinking, make new contacts and learn about other opportunities

  • For the organisation – the feedback from those members of my team who are currently using social media has thus far been really positive: it’s opened up lots of avenues, networks and opportunities. It feels like the event will be a creative space and an opportunity to see what possible outcomes could develop.
  • Personally – it’s an opportunity to catch up and see what other people have done, what they used and what the outcomes were.  I envision lots of creative people in an informal space and a great opportunity to share, and learn.
Posted in Blog News

VCSS Camp 2014 is getting closer, watch this space!

Great news. Thanks to Pauline we now have a venue for this year’s VCSSCamp.  We are looking at hosting it at Innovation Birmingham again, as it was such a great venue last year. They have generously offered us the venue free of charge if we have their food package.

This means we will have to charge a nominal fee of £12.50 per head to cover lunch and refreshments, but it’s not excessive and we are even offering an Early Bird discount of £10. What else would you get for £10?  A day return to Wolverhampton? Parking for the day in Birmingham? A decent bottle of wine or 3 bottles of vinegar?  Please see the comments for an exciting update about ticket prices! Whtever the price you certainly wouldn’t get brilliant company, lots of chances to network and the opportunity to share/learn lots of elements of social media. Why not take the plunge and book straightaway?

The link to the Eventbrite booking page will be coming very soon, so watch this space is here!. Why not sign up to follow the blog as we warm up for this year’s VCSSCamp and get in the camping spirit?

Posted in Blog News, This is VCSSCamp

One year on and not so novice – the world’s my oyster and could easily be yours too!

Hello VCSSCampers!  Those of you who followed the VCSSCamp blog last year will probably remember my blog post ‘From Novice to Navigator’: well things have moved on a bit since then.  Last year I was completely new to social media and decided to launch my foray into it all at once. I recklessly plunged into blogging, tweeting [@Dudleyvols] and Facebook in the space of a few days, but what a journey it’s been and VCSSCamp was a catalyst in many ways. I learnt that I’m not the only person out there who’s learning to steer their way around social media without the benefit of sat nav: that there are many more potential applications I could be accessing to help me process and share information, and best of all, that people who use social media love to share their expertise and help others learn.  That’s what VCSSCamp is about collaboration, openness and shared learning.

I haven’t become a master of social media by any means, but am far more confident. If I have any doubts or don’t know which direction to go, I know where to look having met so many wonderful people, interacted with them and learnt so much from their various posts, tweets etc. Following the links has been like discovering new worlds and I really love the feeling of openness and collaboration between those using social media.  The responses I have had to my blog posts, tweets and Facebook entries have been diverse to say the least – everything from potential volunteers looking for support to find their perfect role, to someone in Australia asking for advice about how I set up a blog.

The stats from my Volunteering Counts blog show that I’ve had over 17,000 views from all over the world, from Nepal to El Salvador, from Norway to Kuwait.  It’s a great feeling to be part of a growing global family of people learning and sharing together. I had an incredible 1012 views of the Volunteer Awards blog in one day when I published the photos of our wonderful award winners in October.  My Operation Santa blog was popular too, doubling its followers to 672, including local businesses.  All three of the blogs are very different, but they all have one thing in common – sharing information with people, maybe potential volunteers, potential organisations and in the case of Operation Santa, trying to get people to support our annual toy appeal.  That’s the great thing about social media it makes sharing so easy, quick and interactive. My @Dudleyvols Twitter feed did really well too with an averaged 27% retweet rate. Apparently that’s quite good and shows that what I’m sending out is popular and relevant.  There have been lots of interactions with potential volunteers via my Facebook page and Facebook users have shared appeals for help and volunteering opportunities for me.

The absolute highlight of the year though and my proudest achievement, was being invited by Big Assist to be a social media mentor for other infrastructure organisations.  So take the plunge yourself and come along to VCSSCamp, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.  I can guarantee you’ll walk away at the end of the day having met some great people, learnt at least one very useful thing and have a warm, fuzzy feeling with all that sharing J