Volunteering in Chesterfield

Volunteering in Chesterfield: a gateway for developing your skills and career

This month we are celebrating the Voluntary Community Sector; volunteering doesn’t just help others, it’s also a great way to develop your own skills.

There are lots of obvious benefits to volunteering – a sense of accomplishment and being able to give back to others. But volunteering can also be a gateway to develop your career, by widening your experience and learning new skills.

Volunteering as an employee of a company

Many employers have Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policies and through them actually encourage their staff and allow time for participation in volunteering projects and other social value activity.


Fortem who have offices in Staveley are a very good example of a company that does just that. Fortem employ over 40 apprentices and recruit around 20 Management Trainees each year. They are keen to encourage staff to volunteer and have been involved with many community projects.

Each year Fortem’s Management Trainees undertake a project that benefits the local community. In 2020, the team worked together with local supply chain partners and subcontractors to refurbish a local community centre, Umbrellas Cosy Hub in Grangewood, Chesterfield, free of charge.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, Fortem staff supported a local food bank at Guesssie’s Kitchen, by providing 880 bags of food to distribute to four local schools. Staff also volunteered their own time to distribute the food bags to children that needed them most. Additionally, the team donated a further £3,000 towards the cost of a new van.

As a result of this, team members at Fortem have been exposed to new experiences which will enhance existing skills and benefit their own career.

Rosewood Wealth Management 

Rosewood Wealth Management is also an apprentice employer who encourages their staff to volunteer. For the past three years, the team have collected and donated toys to the Nightingale Ward at Chesterfield Royal Hospital amongst other community projects.

Abigail Denman, Financial Services Administrative Apprentice, said: “One of the benefits of working for a company like Rosewood is that they are constantly trying to look at ways to help the local community. Each Christmas we do a toy appeal for the local hospital, we donate monthly to Monkwood Community Food Hut, we sponsor Cutthorpe Cricket Club and whenever we look to buy things whether it be end of month treats or artwork for the office they look to support a local business. It makes me proud to be part of a business that is so community driven but asks for nothing in return. ”

By taking part in social value activity, Abigail says: “I’ve been able to develop new skills which can be applied to my apprenticeship and my future career.”

Find out more about apprenticeships and the current vacancies in Chesterfield by visiting: www.chesterfield.co.uk/apprenticeships/become-an-apprentice-in-chesterfield

Volunteering can help to develop your career

Not only can you develop new skills and gain different experience through volunteering. It can also be used as a way to raise your profile, by meeting new people and seeing what a paid role in a particular career might be like.

Community Chesterfield recently published a Volunteer… to Career blog which gives insights into how volunteering can kick start your career. It features people from different roles, talking about their experience of volunteering during their career and how it helped them find their way.

Opportunities to volunteer in Chesterfield

There are lots of volunteering opportunities available in Chesterfield that can help develop your chosen career.









  • Junction Arts – offer a volunteer experience that allows you to give your time when it suits you. Join them on Saturday 10th July, 10am – 12pm for their Volunteer’s Open day at West Studios, Chesterfield. You will get to meet the team, eat cake and find out more about what you can achieve by volunteering with Junction Arts. Find out more here: https://junctionarts.org/events/volunteers-open-day-2021/
Posted in Apprentice Town, Blog, Made in ChesterfieldTagged in , ,

Ashgate Hospicecare’s retail staff praised for going “above and beyond” during height of pandemic

Furloughed Ashgate Hospicecare retail staff have been praised after swapping their usual roles to support their colleagues in the inpatient unit caring for end-of-life patients, during a crucial period of the pandemic.

Just last month, the charity opened a temporary second COVID dedicated wing at its inpatient unit at Old Brampton, taking bed capacity up to 21, after reporting unprecedented demand for its services and a sharp increase in COVID positive patients.

Staff from across the hospice have been redeployed to support those working on the frontline, including seven members of the retail team who were furloughed at the end of last year, after shops were forced to close in line with the Government’s lockdown restrictions.

The retail staff have taken on several roles including Ward Assistant and Ward Receptionist. Their responsibilities include ensuring PPE is available, delivering COVID test samples to Chesterfield Royal Hospital and welcoming families of patients to the ward.

Jane Jones, Head of Clinical Services at Ashgate Hospicecare, said: “We’re so grateful for the retail staff who have been helping out on our inpatient unit; they’ve made such a huge difference since they’ve been here.

“Their support with jobs like putting disposable items away and topping up PPE has meant our nurses and healthcare assistants can focus on spending their time caring for patients.

“They’re all so passionate about doing whatever they can to support the hospice so we can be there for the patients and families in our care. They have the spirit and dedication which embodies everything that being part of the Ashgate family is about.”

Among those who have put themselves forward to take on a new role is Paul Street, a furniture van driver who would usually be based at the Hasland Furniture Store. Paul is working as a Ward Assistant and says it’s been an eye-opening experience to see how the money his team helps to raise is used to directly support families.

“I was furloughed at the start of the lockdown when non-essential retail outlets had to close,” he said. “So, the opportunity to come and help on the inpatient unit at Ashgate was one I couldn’t turn down.

“I’ve certainly been out of my comfort zone; I haven’t really done anything like this before, but it hasn’t taken me long to settle in.

“I get huge satisfaction knowing the little bit we are doing is helping families of patients feel reassured that their loved ones are getting the best care possible. I think my role now is the most rewarding job I’ve ever had; I really am honoured to be part of the Ashgate family.”

Another retail worker who has been redeployed to the ward is Andrea Farmery, who would usually work as the Deputy Store Manager at the Hasland Furniture Store.

She said: “I’m very proud to work for Ashgate Hospicecare and I’m so grateful to have been given the opportunity to help my colleagues at the hospice during the pandemic. It’s lovely to be able to do a job that helps people when they need it most.

“The transition has been a learning curve to say the least, but I’ve enjoyed the challenge so far and I’m pleased to be doing my bit to support my hospice colleagues during these difficult times.”

Both Andrea and Paul volunteered to help with the vaccine rollout at the Winding Wheel in Chesterfield earlier this year too.

The redeployed retail staff helped during a crucial period of the pandemic and are set to return to their usual roles when the charity’s shops reopen on April 12th.

To fill their roles on the inpatient unit, Ashgate Hospicecare is appealing to anyone who might be interested in volunteering to register their interest.

Anyone who would like to join Ashgate Hospicecare as a Ward Volunteer can find out more by visiting www.ashgatehospicecare.org.uk/volunteer/

Ashgate Hospicecare supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through  Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 180 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

Posted in Featured, Home, Made in Chesterfield, UncategorisedTagged in , , , , ,

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