Grundtvig Learning Partnership: Improving Volunteering in Social Care September 2012Volunteer recruitment & retention What makes good practice? Belinda Pratten ppre
Good practice: the volunteer perspectiveVolunteers want:• Clear information about the organisation and volunteering opportunities / roles• Welcoming and efficient recruitment process• Induction• Training – needs of the role & the volunteer• A well-organised but flexible workplace• To be valued• Good support and supervision on an on-going basis From: K Gaskin, 2003, A Choice Blend – what volunteers want from organisation and management Volunteering England
Four Golden Rules for volunteer support• Be flexible: match activities & opportunities to people’s different motivations, interests & time• Be proportionate: keep processes simple• Be supportive: all volunteers should have the information, support and training they need to be effective in their role• Be inclusive: think how you can attract people least likely to volunteer Dept. Of Health, strategic vision for volunteering (England)
Case study: Generate “Generate’s mission is to create better days and better lives for people with a learning disability by working together with them and the people who know them well. “It is our intention to provide purpose, develop independence and encourage connections through people, places and activity.”
Why do people with learning disabilitiesvolunteer?• The opportunity to meet people & make friends• Learn new skills• A sense of purpose & self worth – to be valued• To give something back• Structure to their day / week – a reason to get up in the morning• For the same reasons as anyone else!
Challenges of working with PWLDs• Communicating with people who may not be able to read, write or tell the time – Using pictures / photographs – giving very explicit instructions – expect to be taken literally• Extra learning time needed• Tasks need to be broken down, so they can learn one thing at a time• ‘Watchfulness’ – day-to-day & over time• Make sure volunteers know they can ask for help – and they know who to ask
Benefits to the organisation• Reliable volunteers• A more supportive working environment – People behave better – People communicate better• Demonstrates commitment to inclusivity and diversity: “People won’t notice if you don’t use people with learning disabilities as volunteers – but they really take notice when you do.” Chief Executive, Generate
Lessons learned• Make the role fit the individual – what can they do? What do they like doing? - & the organisation• Adapt or design induction and training around people needs• Communicate clearly – both ways: speaking and listening• Ensure that volunteers are given opportunities to develop and try out new roles• Make sure they are not in a role that should be paid (if so, employ them!)• Make sure they feel supported and valued
And finally “Volunteers want to feel welcome, secure, respected, infor med, well-used and well- managed.” K Gaskin, Volunteering England, 2003
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