It is important to really get to know your volunteers. This means taking time to understand what they find satisfying about volunteering and any concerns they may have about the role or the organisation. Volunteers do get bored; they have other things going on in their lives. Volunteers Project has managed to sustain volunteers for more than one year. We support our volunteers by seeking to understand them, which will help us to:
- Revise roles to ensure they are still relevant and valuable
- Provide new opportunities for keeping volunteers involved and motivated
- Enable us to continually improve how volunteers are organised
- Over 129 volunteers were part of the Volunteers Project during 2015-2016
- 58 volunteers were retained from 2013-2015 and 71 new volunteers were recruited during 2015–2016
Over 29 volunteer befrienders supported individual service users in: reducing isolation/loneliness, building their confidence and self-esteem, offering a listening ear, enabling them to make friends, supporting them with budgeting, attending social activities, going shopping, walking and reducing anxiety when going out. They supported service users with benefit forms as well as attending the assessments and appeal hearings. This reduced a lot of anxiety issues. Not only do people benefit from the contributions of volunteers, but some also take on the role themselves.
Service users have expressed they would not have been able to cope if it was not for the volunteer/befriender. Volunteer support helped with managing their mental health and therefore prevented deteriorations and setbacks.
Overall within the last year:
- Over 5,833 hours of volunteer support was provided to Touchstone services and partner organisations.
- Continued support to Positive Pathways, Volunteer Befriending and Peer Support Service.
- Continued support to Positive Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers (PAFRAS) at the weekly drop-in service.
- 56% of volunteers had no prior experience of volunteering and have actively contributed to volunteering.
- 93% of volunteers rated their support as excellent to good.
- 97% of volunteers rated how well we involved them as excellent to good.
- 95% of volunteers rated how well we promote and value diversity/equal opportunities as excellent to good.
In 2016, Touchstone was re-accredited as an Investor in Volunteers.
Touchstone Annual Review 2015-2016