Webinar recording: Bringing back volunteers in the older age group

Tags: Webinar

17th March 2021



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During this focused check-in session, members of the Helpforce Network discussed how best they can support volunteers in the older age group to return to the hospitals once they are allowed.

The main themes of the discussion cover:

  • Expectation management: how volunteer service managers (VSMs) can manage the expectations of this particular group, especially in communicating new changes/practices in the most sensitive ways
  • Non-tech savvy issue: A lot of VSMs express concerns that the older volunteers may have difficulties in using IT to access new training, book shifts, or to provide support to patients and staff
  • Mixed confidence in the number of returning volunteers in this group: Some VSMs are confident that a large number of older volunteers will come back after they have their vaccinations. However, some expect not many will come back due to their family's pressures.

Some solutions and ideas were also shared to overcome the challenges:

  • Having regular communications to keep volunteers updated with changes across the hospitals: sending out newsletters and chief executive summaries, phone calls and zoom calls
  • Developing a comprehensive risk assessment to ensure older volunteers are safe to come back
  • Creating a new volunteer role where a younger volunteer will call older volunteers to check their wellbeing and keep them updated with new changes
  • Having digital buddies (such as university students) to train older volunteers
  • Sending out hard copies of training materials
  • Working wit the Trust's communication teams to ask for advice in how best to communicate effectively with this group
  • Speaking with chief matron to see the demands for volunteering support
  • Preparing for the case that volunteers will choose not to come back as their old roles no longer exist, or that their family are not happy for them to return

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