Summary: Network members discuss volunteer wellbeing and support

0 Replies


1 Contributors

Created by Debbie Ambrose
Last updated 4 months ago

Authors' Post

Reply to discussion
25 January 2023 at 11:21am


Group 1 discussed

Providing group support

Many organisations turned to Teams and Zoom calls throughout Covid to keep in touch with their volunteers, however some found that numbers had dropped off making the calls unviable, so they have been looking for new ways to keep in touch.

  • Peer-to-peer support groups / volunteer forums / reflective groups

Challenge: It can often be difficult to get all volunteers in one place at the same time.


Split into groups

Nominate a chair who can refer any actions back to volunteer coordinators


Wiltshire covers 700 square miles and used to have a main volunteer forum where all of the volunteers were invited to come. They noticed the numbers dropping so they asked the volunteers how they would like to meet up and how often. It was decided that local volunteer groups would be set up, each with a nominated lead. The lead is responsible for contacting group members to arrange local meetings which may be virtual or in person (for example in a coffee shop). A larger gathering for the whole volunteer team is then organised once or twice a year.

  • Closed Facebook group for volunteers
  • Newsletters

Providing one to one support

  • Reflective journals, handbooks and activity sheets can be used to give volunteers a chance to look back on each shift that they do and identify what went well, what didn't go well and what they want to focus on for next time. This can be helpful for alerting the volunteer manager to issues that have arisen during a shift.
  • Individual phone calls - some volunteers prefer this to a group session.
  • Buddy support.
  • Suggestion box or folder to capture ideas address some of the minor issues that may have arisen.

Group 2 discussed

Events for volunteers

There has been a noticeable lack of attendance and appetite for face-to-face volunteer events.

  • Some volunteers are still anxious about Covid.
  • Many of the volunteers are now of working age or in full time education so do not necessarily have the time to socialise with other volunteers.
  • Some simply don’t feel the need to be thanked with an event.

Giving plenty of notice can help with attendance at face to face events.

As discussed in group one, organisations that are spread over multiple sites can find it difficult to gather volunteers together in one place. This group also suggested splitting volunteers into smaller groups and organising local get-togethers

  • Sending out information by post
  • Sometimes this can be an unavoidable cost if volunteers do not use email and need to be kept informed.
  • Volunteer management systems such as Assemble or Better Impact can be used to communicate and works well for volunteers who don’t have WhatsApp or access to emails.
  • During Covid one organisation used the time to check that their volunteers' contact details were up to date. They found that there were some who had email addresses but didn’t like to use them and used the opportunity to chat with them about the benefits of using it.
Reply to discussion