Summary of focused session: “Shining a light on your volunteer service”

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Created by Debbie Ambrose - Last updated 13 days ago | Tags:

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07 January 2022 at 11:54am
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To start off the new year, on the 4 January 2022 our first focused session was all about raising the visibility of your voluntary service and making sure that your volunteers are acknowledged and celebrated.

As always the conversation was lively and varied with guests from the voluntary sector as well as the NHS. After two years of disruptions many wanted to start the new year off with a clean slate and reassess their communication strategies.

Some were experiencing a shortage of new volunteers coming forward and it was recognised that as well as change of circumstances for some (no longer being furloughed) it could also be due to volunteer fatigue. This in turn recognises the fact that volunteers as well as staff require wellbeing support.

Quote from one of our guests:

“How can we get the spirit of volunteering back up and running again?”

Some of the key points from the session:-

  • Have a comms strategy as well as a good relationship with your Comms department.

  • Twitter, Facebook and TikTok are great social media platforms. For example see Communication: Sharing Case Studies

  • Word of mouth is a powerful way of recruiting and raising awareness of volunteers.

  • Restart promotional events. For example: Recruitment coffee mornings, family activity days. Encourage senior management to participate.

  • National Volunteer Week - Great vehicle to promote, organise activities and showcase what you do. However, it needs to be part of a continuous programme of awareness raising throughout the year.

  • Produce visuals aimed at younger volunteers. “You could be part of our superhero crew”.

  • Video blogs - hard work but the end result is worth the time.

  • Strong visible uniforms for the volunteers.

  • Physical volunteer hubs in prominent locations are effective for increasing visibility of volunteers and encouraging conversations with visitors.

  • Getting volunteers back to help alleviate staff shortages.

  • Start volunteers with staff facing roles. This raises the visibility of volunteers and helps the staff get to know and appreciate what the volunteer can do to help.

  • Support staff who are off sick with friendly chats from volunteers.

  • Importance of effective engagement with volunteers, building empathy and trust; compassion and offering flexibility in volunteering opportunities

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