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Volunteer Management after Lockdown

Thank you to all that attended our ‘Volunteer Management after Lockdown’ themed networking event last week.

There were many insightful conversations, peer support and ideas discussed under the topics below.

Here are some key points and ideas:

Volunteers Returning

Risk Assessments were a natural focus as many of us are preparing for returning to face-to-face volunteering.

Here are some resources that some in the group found helpful and kindly shared:

Occupational+Risk+Assessment+Guidance+and+Tool+Interactive+04+September

Volunteer risk assessment_Individual (1) – Example from Marie Curie. Each organisation will need to do their own individual assessments.

A sensible approach is setting your minimum expectations for all staff and volunteers that must be maintained i.e. masks indoors etc. Anything additional is at the discretion of each person to feel more secure. Of course you need to keep abreast of the latest government guidelines for your area and adjust accordingly.

There was agreement that for the majority of roles you could not have it be a pre-requisite that volunteers declare whether they have had a vaccination. It was the case for one organisation that a member of staff was unable to be vaccinated for health reasons so they are maintaining the strictest safety procedures.

We heard that organisations are including a statement in recruitment that ‘getting involved is at your own risk’. Naturally there is a fear of the potential that someone could blame an organisation or even sue them if they felt that they caught the virus whilst volunteering with them. With all of the safety procedures in place it is still possible for someone to not follow them properly or pick it up elsewhere and place blame with the wrong place. Having a disclaimer which puts the responsibility on the volunteer can mitigate that risk.

For further advice on this topic and templates, click on this link for Volunteer Wiki.

How to welcome volunteers back

There were great ideas of making a face-to-face reunion ‘lightweight’. Keep the focus on it being a positive social event as many have missed this, perhaps arranging a lunch for all to attend. However we do need to bear in mind that some people may feel they need to ease in before being part of a group again.

Signposting to wellbeing events online or doing it as a group is a great way to support your volunteers.

Consider that some of the people previously volunteering with you might not want to return. It is best to avoid making assumptions as individual circumstances could have changed.

Being flexible

If roles have been carried out remotely/online, consider continuing to offer the role remotely if possible as many have found the benefits that this has brought

  • New people who have time to volunteer if it is from home (no travel time)
  • Volunteers from other parts of the country or even across the world (time differences allowing)

Some volunteers that are no longer keen on doing face-to-face roles could be offered a buddying role for new volunteers starting.

Keeping volunteers engaged

We discussed hosting online events for all volunteers and staff. It could be a quiz- Kahoot is a fun free tool that allows you to create your own gameshow-like quiz. It can be used a fun training refresher.

You can check in with volunteers before online training to offer support. This extra step of talking someone through how to open a link for example, might just be what they need to confidently join the online training or session.

Using an online forum for communication your volunteers can be very helpful. A Slack or WhatsApp group allows for quick responses and enables peer support.

Recruiting Volunteers

We have heard from many volunteer managers that they are going to have a large recruitment drive in the near future.

I was delighted to hear the positive spin that this is an opportunity to focus on being more diverse and inclusive. Where organisations had a largely white, middle class or older volunteer demographic they can now aim to include more young people and people from other ethnicities.

This is a fantastic goal which can enrich your organisation in so many ways.

If this is your goal we can help you to achieve this!

If you’re interested in recruiting young volunteers, you can get in touch with Tara, who oversees our youth volunteering group and Saltire Award programme – her email address is tara.bentley@volunteerglasgow.org.

We run regular Advertising Workshops to help organisations to ensure their advertising is as effective and inclusive as possible. Our next session is on Thursday 27th May at 10am. You can book your free ticket here:

Scottish Refugee Council have a lot of information on including refugee volunteers, click on this link to read more. They also run online sessions where you can meet and recruit volunteers – the next one is Thursday 27th May at 2pm. 

Finally, please take a look at our new Volunteer Managers’ Slack Forum and get involved to stay in touch with volunteer managers across Glasgow! Click on this link to join us on Slack.

Feel free to get in touch with us for support or to discuss any of the above.

Email findvolunteers@volunteerglasgow.org

Tracey Stone

Organisation Support Coordinator

 


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