Investing in Volunteers

Volunteer Recieving Award

Investing in Volunteers is the UK quality standard for all organisations which involve volunteers in their work. The Standard enables organisations to comprehensively review their volunteer management, and publicly demonstrates their commitment to volunteering. There are ten different areas addressed within the standard from recruitment of volunteers, through training and support, to involvement of volunteers in the development of the organisation.

We first heard about Investing in Volunteers through our links with the voluntary sector. We felt very much that pursuing this quality standard would further demonstrate our continued commitment to involving volunteers in our core service delivery, at a time when many parent partnership services are moving away from this. In addition, we felt that it would enable us to review, and if necessary amend, the structures in place to support our volunteers and provide them with good training and development.

We anticipated that receipt of the Award would lead to increased recognition of the contribution made by our volunteers; we also hoped that it would lead to increased interest from potential volunteers with a corresponding rise in recruitment rate.

We gained the Award in February 2008 and there will be a review of this in February 2011. We were pleased to find that we met many of the ten criteria at the start of the process and have made positive changes in areas that were identified as weaker.

The process made us look closely at all the policies and procedures we have around our volunteers and at the ways our volunteers continue to add value to our service. There is an impressive range of knowledge and skills represented in the volunteer group and we are determined to sustain this in future years.