Forum & Training

Volunteer Coordinators' Forum

A friendly network open to anyone working with volunteers to share, learn and help one another. Covering a wide range of topics to share best practice for volunteer management. Hosted by organisations across the borough. At least 10 per year including socials. For more information email

Our next event: Evening networking social April 2024

Thursday 18th April 6pm onwards, another Sudtone and Shinner and Sutton Soup Social 

6-7.30pm Shinner & Sudtone address: 67 High St, Sutton SM1 1DT (food available to buy)

7.30-9.30pm Sutton Soup address: St Nicholas Church, St Nicholas Way 34 Robin Hood Lane Sutton SM1 1ST

Prebook your ticket here

A fun and different evening out.

For a £5 donation you get a meal of soup and bread and the opportunity to help change our community.

  • We meet
  • We eat soup
  • We listen to 4 people pitch for funding for a local community project
  • We vote

Everyone who comes along gets to cast one vote for the pitch they like the best.  The winning pitch gets to take away ALL the money donated on the night.

Please note that this is a cash-only event.

You will need £5 for the entrance. And you'll need some more cash to pay for refreshments at the bar.


Please note that photographs and footage may be taken throughout any event organised by Sutton Soup. These will be used by Sutton Soup for marketing and publicity in our publications, on our website and in social media or in any third party publication. Please contact us if you have any concerns or if you wish to be exempted from this activity.


What are my transport/parking options for getting to the event?

St Nicholas Church has a bus stop very near it outside Sutton Civic Centre Bus routes served by this stop: 80; 151; 164; 213; 280; 407; 413; 470; 613; N44; S1; S3; S4. S1

St Nicholas Church is right next to the Gibson Road carpark. 


Save the dates:

  • May 2024 - Tuesday 21st May – ONLINE ONLY 10:00am – 12:00pm – DBS part 1 - Disclosure & Eligibility by the DBS London team
  • Disclosure and Eligibility (90 mins)
  • Outlining the role of the Disclosure and Barring Service.
  • What might be disclosed when a DBS check is made.
  • Understanding DBS checks and role eligibility, including levels of check and workforce
  • How “regulated activity” with children and adults is defined and what this means in practice.
  • Practical exercises about applying eligibility for relevant roles
  • Q&A
  • Then any other business

Volunteer Coordinators' Forum May 2024 ad

  • June 2024 - Tuesday 25th June – ONLINE ONLY 10:00am – 12:00pm – DBS part 2 - Barring by the DBS London team
  • Barring and Legal Duty to Refer (90 mins)
  • Understand the three different referral routes
  • Understand when a DBS Barring referral should be made, including when the legal duty is met
  • Understand what Regulated Activity is
  • Understand how to make a good quality referral
  • Have a clear understanding of the consequences of not making appropriate barring referrals and the consequences of being included in one or both Barred Lists
  • Q&A
  • then any other business
  • July 2024 - Thursday 11th July Shinner and Sudtone and Sutton Soup SOCIAL IN PERSON 6pm onwards
  • August 2024 - nothing scheduled
  • September 2024 - Thursday 26th September, St Raphael's Hospice hosting, Investing in Volunteers (IiV) Award. 9.30/10am - 11.30/12pm
  • October 2024 - Thursday 17th October Shinner and Sudtone and Sutton Soup SOCIAL IN PERSON 6pm onwards
  • November 2024 - tbc
  • December 2024 - nothing scheduled

What to expect?

To help organisations, we have monthly Volunteer Coordinators' Forums where ANYONE who works with volunteers (including volunteers themselves) is welcome to join.

We're a friendly group from a range of organisations who come together to share best practice and ideas, support one another, learn new tips and tricks and get out of the office visiting organisations across the borough for a fun morning out.

Previous session key topics have included:

  • Volunteer Recruitment and Retention
  • DBS and Vetting
  • Crowdfunding at Sutton Community Farm
  • Volunteer Conflict at Downlands Partnership, Old Lodge Farm
  • ...many with tours of exciting organisation sites including patting lambs and tasting local produce!

In person timings are generally:

9.30-10.00 coffee/tea and gather
10.00 start Volunteer Centre Sutton update
start main topic
then open circle discussion/ round the table introductions and problem solving finishing by 11.30
11.30-12.00 extra time for networking if people want to stay on and chat.
Or sometimes we finish with a tour of the venue such as Sutton Community Farm, Downlands partnership etc.
We also have a WhatsApp group for Volunteer Coordinators' who have joined Forums. Contact Natasha for the link.

To see what happened in our previous forums, click the following links:


Training: Virtual/Online Introduction to Volunteer Centre Sutton for organisations

  • Recommended for all organisations
  • All the ways we can help you with volunteer recruitment and retention
  • And top tips for using Simply Connect effectively
  • Take place weekly/fortnightly on either a Tuesday, Wednesday or Friday afternoon on Microsoft Teams.
  • Contact Natasha for latest dates.

Tip of the month

Remember you can repurpose your content, do you have a facebook post, a newsletter or a poster you have? Share it with us and we can share it with our 4000+ mailing list of residents to shine a light on volunteering with you. Read more here of how we can promote your roles.

5 quick pointers for writing a Simply Connect ad:

  1. You have a 40 minute time limit so open it to familiarise yourself with the sections, and then write in word and copy across to avoid being timed out and losing content.
  2. You're writing an advert not a job description to keep it short, snappy and attractive to scanning potential volunteers like a poster.
  3. Opportunity live = Volunteer Centre Sutton Approved, you can't tick this box
  4. Copy the short description at the start of your main description
  5. Include your contact details at the end of the main description something like:
If interested in this role please contact: Name, email, number and apply through their website: https://website/volunteer/ quoting you found out about it through Volunteer Centre Sutton.

For futher training and resources, we recommend:


For futher training and resources, we highly recommend:

NCVO training

NAVCA website for information

Community Action Sutton training and their newsletter

Photos of our previous fun had at Forums.

Volunteer Coordinators' Forums Jan to Aug 2023 with logos