1.1 Outline the role of managing volunteers.
The role of managing volunteers can be quite varied and diverse, depending in which organisation you are working and on the individuals you have volunteering for you. The work falls into the following categories:
Recruitment: seeking out potential volunteers, meeting with them to understand their needs and share the information about the organisation and volunteering opportunities, discussing and agreeing with the potential volunteer which opportunity is right for them and following company recruitment procedures (For example, references and a DBS check where appropriate).
At Treetops I use various recruitment methods and resources including the Do-It website, local Volunteer Bureau, posters at our groups/sessions, around the local area, etc., emails and newsletters to the current volunteers
Induction: A good induction gives the volunteer a good footing into their time with the organisation. This will vary depending on the role but could include things like introducing the staff and volunteers they will be working with, a tour of the site, showing them where toilets, and so on are situated, explaining fire evacuation procedures, showing them the system for claiming expenses, etc.
At Treetops we have recently written a new induction programme including a Volunteer Induction Handbook and have tailored it to be split into different levels. The level a volunteer needs to complete is dependent on the role they are taking on. It also means if they move onto a new role in the future they do not need to repeat levels, just top up with anything they didn’t do already.
Training: some volunteers will require training before they can begin their roles. These needs will have been identified during the recruitment process. This could be official training where they are required to go to a training site, it could be in-house training or on the job training or a combination of all three.
At Treetops our induction includes training on Equality & Diversity, Safeguarding and Confidentiality. Volunteers also attend additional trainings that are relevant to their role. For example, a volunteer taking on the Toddler Partnership Role would complete an Introduction to Child’s Play course whereas a Family Support volunteer might attend trainings relevant to Family Support like CAF training and a Drop-In Group helper might complete a First Aid course.
Support: All volunteers, however minor their role might be, need support. This could be as basic as a quick informal chat each time they volunteer for occasional helpers or it could be a more formal supervision for those volunteering more often or doing more in-depth roles. Support may also come in the form of peer support where groups of volunteers carrying out similar roles get together and share their experiences, both good and bad, to help learn from each other and share ideas.
Training and Support often occur cyclically as one may lead to the other and visa versa.
At Treetops we currently offer various types of support. Our nursery volunteer who is here 16 hours a week has a more formal supervision session about once every 6-8 weeks. Our Toddler Partnership Volunteers have a peer support group that I also attend. Our Toy Library volunteers just have informal chats that vary in frequency depending on how often they volunteer for us. All our volunteers are made aware that if they have any concerns, problems, etc. that they can speak to their supervisor or to me any time, they do not necessarily need to wait until the next supervision date.
1.2 Define the key responsibilities involved in managing volunteers.
Planning the volunteer programme
• Develop goals and objectives of the programme which reflect the vision of the organisation.
• Assess the need for volunteers to enhance the programme delivery.
• Develop a budget for the programme.
• Conduct on going evaluation of the programme and services