Portsmouth has signed up to ValueYou, a reward scheme for volunteers. It provides a discount card and gift vouchers to individuals volunteering 100 hours or more per year to charities, hospitals, community groups or public services.
The ValueYou initiative started in London, where it currently runs in twelve boroughs and has over 500 businesses signed up. Portsmouth is the first place to embrace ValueYou outside of London and already has 22 businesses on board, including cafes, a dry cleaners, florist's and a shoe repairers.
Businesses that join ValueYou get a listing on their website and are included on maps and lists that are given to volunteers. They can also display a window sticker and till signage. There is no contract or costs to be involved. To join the scheme, businesses need to offer a minimum 10% discount.
Volunteers who would like a ValueYou card, to gain discounts in all businesses signed up to the scheme, need to download an application form from www.volunteer.portsmouth.gov.u
Brian Bracher, Head of Volunteering and Social Action at Portsmouth City Council, said: "Volunteers make a significant difference to this city so the council fully supports the ValueYou scheme, which helps to reward them for their contribution. I'm pleased to see so many diverse businesses signed up in Portsmouth already and hope that many more will come on board."
Brian Morton, owner of Hunter Gatherer Coffee in Albert Road, Southsea, said: "We're delighted to be part of this scheme, which enables us to reward the selfless generosity of volunteers. So many organisations wouldn’t be able to run without volunteers so we're happy to have a chance to give something back. Being part of the community is really important to us at Hunter Gatherer Coffee so getting involved in the ValueYou Scheme was an easy decision for us."
Muge Phillips, who volunteers for Portsmouth Together, said: "I think this scheme is a great thing. I don't volunteer to get anything in return but it's nice that companies have chosen to join ValueYou and give discounts to people who volunteer. I'll definitely be signing up and will look forward to visiting the businesses which are part of the scheme. I'll also be letting other volunteers know about it."
For more information visit www.volunteer.portsmouth.gov.u