Introduction McCurley, Lynch and Jackson (2012) suggest that volunteers are an underused resource and that volunteers can and should make a significant contribution to an organisation’s strategic objectives. St Catherine’s currently has more than 800 volunteers.
Aim To set the strategic direction for volunteering, recognising the central role volunteers play in the delivery of services and support functions. A compelling and collaborative vision was needed to unite all services behind the ambition to enhance how we recruit, induct, value, celebrate, and develop volunteers, as well as innovating how they are included in the delivery of our services.
Method In 2014–15 every line manager across the organisation was consulted, exploring strengths, challenges and ambitions. The volunteer development manager shadowed existing volunteers, analysed how well we articulate our vision and the appetite for revolutionising our approach. Finally a gap analysis of our position against key national standards, including Investing in Volunteers, was undertaken to benchmark our approach.
Having established our baseline and emerging themes, our objectives and key activities were drafted. All volunteers were consulted via email and a breakfast event. Feedback was used to consolidate these objectives, create a vision and flesh out key activities. The project group of managers and a volunteer representative were asked to review the full draft before Senior Management signed off the strategy.
Results The organisation’s first ever Volunteering Strategy was published in the summer of 2015. It recognises that volunteers are some of the biggest donors to the hospice and their time is priceless. It sets out an ambitious vision to be the organisation of choice for volunteers - to hold a reputation of volunteering excellence and demonstrate best practice in all that it does.
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