Our Volunteering Strategy Project has been looking into how Turn2us can support our volunteers better so that together we can help more people. It has now finished its consultation phase with our stakeholders and we are now working on the final strategy for the next three years. The strategy will be formally launched early next year and more details will follow after Christmas.
Workshops were created for the Project Team members, HQ staff not directly involved in the project and for volunteers and they were delivered through a programme of five regional events for volunteers in four locations across England and Wales. This figure included an additional session which was scheduled to take place at our Headquarters Offices in London in response to the number of volunteers who were unable to attend the original one planned for August but who expressed an interest in finding out about the strategy through participating in a workshop. Volunteers came along and shared their experiences and thoughts on our strategy.
As part of the project we also contacted all the volunteers who were registered as Visitors to update their contact details and to help us create a database of project updates and survey preferences for those volunteers unable to attend these events so that they could feed into the process through other avenues.
Purpose of the workshops
The purpose of the workshops was to:
- Inform attendees about our current position in respect of our volunteering programme
- Give an overview of the national volunteering landscape and trends
- Provide them with an opportunity to contribute their thoughts to the development of the strategy through participation in various exercises which contributed to our internal analysis of the charity. These included:
- A SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) exercise which encouraged participants to think about the volunteering strategic issues that the organisation is facing
- An 'Identifying ideas, options and opportunities' exercise which invited them to draw on their experience to inform the development of new volunteer roles - for either their areas of work (staff) or their volunteering role (volunteers). Attendees shared their knowledge about potential future demands on their areas of work (staff) and their frontline operational experience dealing with individuals we support with grants (volunteers).
In addition to the workshops, an online survey was also created using SurveyMonkey which was made available in a paper version for those who preferred to complete it without using a computer
A range of questions were used such as:
- How long have you been volunteering with Elizabeth Finn Care/Turn2us?
- Please confirm your current volunteer involvement with the charity – tick all that apply (eg Visitor, County Committee etc)
- Do you volunteer for any other organisation?
- What were the reasons that you decided to start volunteering with us – tick all that apply (e.g. I wanted to give something back, I had a personal connection to the charity etc)
- We are reviewing how we recognise and thank our volunteers. Please indicate which of the following methods you think are most appropriate (e.g. formal awards ceremony, verbal thanks, a reference, social events etc)
Volunteers' experiences with Turn2us
We also wanted to know about our volunteers’ experiences with Turn2us so there were some additional questions to gauge satisfaction levels and how supported volunteers felt. This survey was created used SurveyMonkey and was made available in both an electronic and paper format as some volunteers had expressed a preference for a postal version.
Responses to the surveys and workshops were then collated and used to inform the content of our final strategy and action plan to develop our volunteering programme.
The strategy document is currently being written and will be launched early next year along with details of our findings.
Volunteers will receive an update on the details about our launch events once everything has been finalised.