CVS News

Keeping you informed about the local voluntary, community and social enterprise sector.

New directions through Volunteering

05 October 2017

Matthew Aylen started volunteering two years ago, which inspired him to gain further experience, study and then establish a new business. It all started with a phone call to our Volunteering staff at CVS.


Matthew is someone who believes in volunteering and has experienced the dramatic way in which it can lead onto paths and directions in life previously unimagined.  He is currently delivering courses at the CVS training rooms, on behalf of charities ReUse Centre and NOAH Academy.

Matthew told us how he came to be where he is now, helping others to develop their own potential:

“2 years ago, I phoned Paul Atkin at The Volunteer Centre in Bedford. I was at a point in my life where very little was going on, and I was considering leaving the country and going travelling. Paul got a clear understanding of the sort of person I was, and given I have good people skills, suggested I volunteer at Headway, a charity which helps rehabilitate people who have suffered brain injury. “

After starting as a volunteer, I was given the opportunity to run a communication group which I was paid for. I decided to study an MSc in Positive Psychology and Coaching Psychology as a direct result of this experience, which I recently passed with merit. I am now working with five different charities in Bedfordshire, designing and running workshops around personal development, employability and wellbeing. I work with people who have been long term unemployed, as well as those suffering from mental illness and disabilities.

I have helped many people get back into paid or voluntary work, build levels of confidence and learn ways to overcome obstacles in their lives. Without that initial helping hand by the Volunteer Centre, none of this would have happened! Thank you!”

We are certainly delighted that Matthew took the path that he did.  We still have volunteer opportunities available on our system with Headway, the Reuse Centre and Noah. So if you too are looking for something purposeful to get your teeth into, then why not log on to our Volunteer Connect system, and take a look at the opportunities that await.

Here are a few examples –

Volunteer Rehabilitation Assistant with Headway

ReUse Centre Retail Assistant

Noah Enterprise Administrator

Of course, your inspiration might come from a completely different organisation. There are a vast variety of opportunities to choose from – just go direct to our volunteer connect role search facility, and start browsing.  If you need help, call us at Community Voluntary Service Bedfordshire, 01234 354 366 or just turn up on a Thursday morning between 10.00 and 1.00 pm and you never know where it might lead.

You can read more about Matthew’s new business delivering coaching, workshops and mindfulness teaching, at his website


New directions through Volunteering Matthew, at CVS delivering a course for the ReUse Centre


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Related Events

Volunteer Recruitment Session

  • Thursday 22 March 2018

To start volunteering locally, come along to this recruitment session and speak to an advisor about the available opportunities in the Bedfordshire area that might suit your interest and availability.



  • There is a permanant, full-time post available as a Bistro Assistant at Emmaus Carlton. Apply by 19 March.