By Hazel Finney, Lead for Volunteering, Community Impact Bucks
Let’s face it – sometimes recruiting, managing and retaining volunteers can be damned hard work – especially if you’re not involved with a large national charity with a healthy budget and a ‘sexy’ cause that really tugs at the heart strings. In the grand scheme of things, you might not be saving lives, but at a local level, the charity or community group you work or volunteer for could still be having a massive, life enhancing, impact. Take the man who, due to a weekly activity group, is dealing more effectively with his depression, or the woman who is feeling better now there’s a volunteer driver to take her to her hospital appointments. Remove all the voluntary organisations and the volunteers that facilitate their services at a county level, and suddenly you’re left with a massive deficit that will be noticed on the wider stage.
I meet a lot of switched on, driven, people in my job – well, you have to be to have the presence of mind and tenacity to start a charitable organisation from scratch, successfully diversify your funding streams, or have the gumption to leave a well paid job in the private sector to do something that really matters to you. But everyone needs a helping hand from time to time, especially when this involves support around volunteers, the lifeblood of the voluntary sector.
If you could benefit from advice about involving volunteers, Community Impact Bucks can help. We’re the nationally accredited Volunteer Centre for Buckinghamshire, and so know a thing or two about volunteering. Whether you just have a query that requires a quick email or phone call, or a more complex concern, there is a variety of support available:
– Call us on 0300 111 1250
– Email us on firstname.lastname@example.org
– Attend a half or full day masterclass: next one on 22 August in South Bucks.
Use this Volunteers’ Week to take stock, and think about asking for help if you need it – from that niggling question, to a problem which is beginning to feel insurmountable, we can’t promise to work miracles, but sometimes it’s just good to talk!
Here’s what some of our service users have had to say:
“I thought the pace and variety of activities was really good and think the model forms will be really valuable.” St. Francis Children Society
“Really well run workshop.” Carers Bucks
“I am very pleased to announce that working with CIB, we have at STARS/Oasis Partnership managed to recruit a volunteer to fulfil our Caretaker position. It was after attending one of the volunteer surgeries that CIB provide, they encouraged us to add our volunteer roles on to the Do-it website. This role will make a huge difference to the team in Aylesbury and hopefully provide our volunteer with the confidence and up-to-date work experience to move forward in getting a paid job.” The Oasis Partnership
“Thank you so much for meeting me last week, and I really enjoyed the opportunity to have someone listen to me! The information you have provided is very helpful and I intend to put in practice most of your suggestions over the next few weeks.” Anonymous