A Big Hand for volunteers gets the thumbs up

April 11, 2008

Baroness Neuberger, Gordon Brown’s champion of volunteering, has praised World Jewish Relief’s latest initiative.

She addressed the Golders Green launch of WJR’s The Big Hand, through which potential helpers will be asked about their skills and interests and matched to volunteering vacancies. In the spirit of the project, coordinator Lia Bogod is also contributing on a voluntary basis.

The baroness spoke of the importance of providing “genuinely useful opportunities for volunteers and to present clear ‘asks’ — where are the skills gaps, how can people make a difference, and so forth”. WJR was doing this by avoiding “the bureaucracy so often clouding volunteering”.

WJR chief executive Paul Anticoni said the scheme’s beauty was its simplicity. “We have laid out a comprehensive list of tasks. We will ask for your availability and your interests and then assign the perfect match. Each role, no matter how small, is critical to our work.”

All of the 85-strong launch audience signed up to the programme.

Last updated: 12:24pm, June 8 2008