Grundtvig Learning Partnership:Improving Volunteering in Social Care September 2012Recognition for volunteers What makes good practice?
Key Question:• Are we talking only about formal accredited recognition or about valuing volunteers and their contribution to the work of the organisation?• UK experience from a broad range of research tells us that being valued is what impacts most on satisfaction and retention of volunteers.
One size does not fit all• Different volunteers: young, older, retired, peers and service users, people with learning or physical disabilities• Different motivations: learn new skills and gain certificates, giving something back, meet new people and give structure to their day/week, enjoying the work• NHS volunteers from all age groups talked about feeling better knowing they had been able to help others.
111 roles for volunteers in health & social care• Administration helper/clerical helper• Artist/Arts & crafts (knitters, blanket maker, art therapist)• Befriending (in-patients, people in residential care and in the community)• Musicians and exercise to music• Expert patient• Governance & Trustees• Hairdresser for In-patient & Day Care units• Interpreter• Recruitment & selection of staff• Support groups for specific health conditionshttp://www.volunteering.org.uk/resources/volunteeringinhealth/roles
Why volunteer?• Older volunteers tended to cite helping others as their primary motivation, and wanting to give something back• Retired volunteers also talked about wanting to get out of the house, meet new people and give structure to their retirement.• Younger volunteers tended to be more motivated by career ambitions citing, for example, the need to gain work experience in a hospital or the opportunity to improve their English skills.
Service users as volunteersPeople who have received a lot of health and social care services volunteer because:• they want to improve that service for other people in the same situation• volunteering provides them with opportunities to develop themselves and be active citizens rather than passive patientsThe overwhelming majority of volunteers who had mental health problems said that it had helped them to develop:• confidence and self-esteem a• social networks and make friends• skills that were useful in gaining employment• a sense of purpose after a period of difficulty in life* The Volunteering for Mental Health survey http://www.volunteering.org.uk/resources/volunteeringinhealth/
Case Study: Stepping Up Training• Younger volunteers in residential care often want a certificate of hours worked and skills gained for the Duke of Edinburgh award or to improve their CV – BUT many carry on volunteering after getting their certificates because they enjoy it• Most volunteers interviewed like to be thanked both by being treated as a key part of the organisation and through events that celebrate their work• Some organisations also thank their volunteers publicly through their local press and radiohttp://steppinguptraining.co.uk
Case Study: Swindon Mind• Birthday, Christmas and thank you cards• Individuals all mentioned in Annual Report• In-house training• Monthly volunteer meetings to review what has gone well, less well and why, discuss new ideas• Annual reviews and open door policy all year• Take them out to dinner, or other social event
Recognition for Managers of Volunteers• Being well managed is key to having a good volunteering experience and valuing volunteers is central to good management• There are enough common elements to the role of Managing volunteers to develop common resources and training programmes• England and Wales have apprenticeships for managers of volunteers and the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) has accredited short courses for themhttp://steppinguptraining.co.uk/programmes/level-3-certificate-in-the-management-of-volunteers/
Finally, qualifications and good practice for managers of volunteers http://www.i-l-m.com/learn-with-ilm/10499.aspx has information on the content of the level 3 and level 5 certificates in Managing Volunteers from the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM)Volunteers across the NHS: Improving the patient experience and creating a patient-led service (595.7Kb) contains best practice guidance on volunteer management. It aims to support greater consistency in volunteer policies and volunteer management procedures across the NHShttp://www.volunteering.org.uk/resources/volunteer- management-portal has links to a broad range of support and information for managers of volunteers