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The Impact of Training & Networking – Karlean Bourne

We spoke to Karlean Bourne, Front of House Manager at Glasgow Film Theatre and Glasgow Film Festival, shares her experience of Volunteer Glasgow’s Organisation Support services with a focus on the Smarter Volunteer Managers Training Programme.

You can find the full transcript of the interview below:

My name is Karlean Marie Bourne and I am the volunteer co-ordinator for the Glasgow Film Theatre. We currently have somewhere between 100-150 volunteers throughout the year, plus we also have volunteers that come along for our Glasgow Film Festival.

So I’ve been in my role for quite a long time but I felt like the programme was getting quite stale and that we needed to do some new things, and I wasn’t entirely sure how to go about doing that. So we were originally looking for a better way to recruit people – at the moment we only had just our website that we were recruiting on, and we were looking for people who were wanting to actively volunteer.

So I got involved with you guys, with Volunteer Glasgow, in the hope that I would find a new way of advertising and it was really useful actually! We’ve taken on some really great recruits from it.

So the SVM programme was really, really useful – it was a really great opportunity for me to learn some new things despite the fact I’d been doing the role for a really long time.  It was great to find some kind of logical steps to improve on what we’re doing and to make it easier for our volunteers to to volunteer and to get more from it. And it was also a really wonderful way to network and meet other people in the role because it can be a role that’s quite… quite difficult for other people to understand how it works. It’s not like normal managing, managing a volunteer team is very different, and so meeting other people who also do the same thing was a really good opportunity and was really useful for finding ways to improve on what we do, and pick brains and get other information from people who have already done things that you want to do,  and also to give information to other people and just kind of… find some solidarity, really.

I think the impact of using the programme has been quite immense actually,  because it’s A) renewed kind of my… my passion and my enjoyment of the role and given me a new flare for things which has obviously impacted then on the team, which is great.

It’s also meant that we’ve been able to recruit people who are super into GFT and really want to be involved with us, which has been again – really useful and great for the group,  and has been quite a good boost I think for the people coming along. And it’s just been a really good chance for us to look at what we do and improve on what we’re doing,  and I think it’ll help us to just do a better job than we have been doing and to kind of expand on what our volunteers give us for the future.

I would definitely recommend Volunteer Glasgow services. I think it’s a wonderful programme and I think that the team are really knowledgeable and have a lot of experience and it’s just a really good opportunity to… even if you’ve done the role, and you know the role really well, it’s a good opportunity for you to find out new things that that you didn’t necessarily know and just to make really good contacts with other people who do the role, and allowing you to make those connections which I think are really important.

We have lots of Top Secret plans and we’ll hopefully roll those out within the next year or so… we’ll not tell you what they are yet, though!

And our future hopefully is very bright and shiny, and we have wonderful things coming up in terms of our films and our events, so we’re really excited to have people who are really passionate about film who enjoy the GFT and want to help support us and the best way to do that is to check out the Volunteer Glasgow website or the website at GFT and just keep an eye on when we’re having recruitments. There’s also the Film Festival which will also be advertising by the same way.

To find out more about Smarter Volunteer Manager, head to or email

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