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Supporting and retaining volunteers – Take Action

These take action questions will help you go through a self-review process to identify areas of strength and those that may be in need of development in relation to your work with volunteers.

Your email address will not be shared with anyone. Add your email address so you can then click the send button at the bottom of the page. This will send an email to you with a copy of your completed take action form. You can then refer back to your completed take action form in your own email inbox. So you have your very own take action to do list!

Take Action Form

1: Does your volunteer programme have a volunteer centred approach?

If you answered No – ACTION: Ask your current volunteers the questions on page 1 in this section. The only way of finding out if your volunteers feel comfortable in their roles and supported is to ask them directly. Perhaps you can do a survey, ask them directly and do an informal exit interview when your volunteers leave to find out if they have had a good experience. Then listen to what they have to say and make necessary changes.

If you answered Yes – CONSIDER: How you can improve the volunteering experience, do you ask your volunteers how they feel about the volunteering they are doing, often and regularly? And do you analyse their answers and make improvements as a result of that? Remember that happy volunteers are great ambassadors for your programme.

2: Is your induction procedure clear for the volunteers and staff?

If you answered No – ACTION: Develop an induction procedure, collect the information you need the volunteer to know into an induction pack, give this to the volunteer and discuss. Be clear about your organisation’s expectations of the volunteer and be sure to discuss what expectations they have. Go through the volunteer role with them and ask them if they have any concerns. Give them any training that is needed and let them familiarize with the surroundings, people and participants. Use the induction template in the Resources section to structure your induction.

If you answered Yes – CONSIDER: If any other training is needed at a later stage and these long term training plans with the volunteer in question. Also consider how you spread the induction out over time. Do you do it all in one go or can you stage the induction process over a longer period of time? This requires less capacity from your organisation in one go and it doesn’t overwhelm the volunteer. Be sure that the volunteer has got the support and information they need to start volunteering.

3: Do you provide volunteers with ongoing support?

If you answered No – ACTION: Make sure each volunteer has a supervisor/contact person that sees them regularly and can provide support instantly if needed. Make sure this supervisor or contact person asks their volunteers if they feel supported and what support they need. Another way to give new volunteers support is to match them with a Buddy or Peer Mentor, then later on they can become a Buddy or a Mentor.

If you answered Yes – CONSIDER: If you can provide volunteers with more training or perhaps if they can develop their role and gain more responsibilities.

4: Got your own take action ideas? Add them here to make a record for yourself




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