Happy Work Birthday to me!
It's 1 year today that I started my current job, as a volunteer coordinator at Shelter in Manchester, and what an excellent year it's been.
I've seen my organisation get more confident and able to host volunteers, and I've been able to share in the successes of more people accessing our services in a voluntary capacity, learning new skills and quite often, moving on to paid employment after thier time with us.
It's been my most connected year ever as a volunteer manager, with tools such as ivo.org.uk , twitter, and manchester volunteer managers networks playing a key role in helping me to stay connected and contribute to the pressing issues at the heart of volunteer management.
I've started advertising my volunteering roles on here and although it's not yet getting the responses of an established site such as do-it - a volunteer who found us through ivo started this week and is already making a difference to our legal team here at the housing advice service. She's had such a good time this week that she has even asked if she can bring her friend along to do some volunteering as well. 2 new volunteers for the price of one. The team she is part of are over the moon.
My friend and colleague Addam Merali-Hosiene met a potential volunteer who had missed the intake for his next raft of volunteers at Barnardo's - and as an excellent volunteer manager, he took care to signpost that volunteer on as there were no opportunities on offer immediately in his organisation. Not only did Addam signpost him, he suggested that the volunteer might be interested in finding out what we do here at Shelter. He then called me to let me know he'd made a referral.
Within 24 hours, I'd met this volunteer, talked to him about his interests, and next week, he starts his opportunity with us. I've made sure to let the volunteer know that he's welcome to get involved back at Barnardo's when the next intake of volunteers comes up. Perhaps he might do both!
I'm rambling. But I'm happy. These are examples of good things happening. People sharing, and taking care to look after people. People not thinking about politics or competition. People thinking about the volunteers needs, and not letting someone who is excited and ready to get involved get demotivated by making them wait to get stuck in.
My job-birthday wish is that everyone this week takes the time to share something extra. Preferably by helping a volunteer in a way that doesn't necessarily have any direct benefit to your organisation or project. Within reason of course! Oh and have a cake of some sort too.
Happy work birthday Emma! You should have said and we could have had cake yesterday!:-) Great blog, and has got me thinking about using ivo as a recruitment tool too, especially as we're having very mixed results with do-it at the moment. Watch this space!
and p.s. thanks for the mention:-D
my pleasure - you inspired my post!
Happy Birthday Emma! Love reading your stuff, the above is no exception :) That first contact with volunteers is crucial, whether it be phone, face to face, twitter, facebook, email etc it's all about treating people with respect, interest and consideration. In my personal and work life I still see and hear, firsthand too I might add, of so many cases where potential volunteers aren't contacted. Happened to me a few weeks ago. Now, I could name and shame and although it's tempting, I won't be doing that. I wish all could do what you've outlined above here :)
We ran a mystery shopper exercise earlier in the year (I blogged about it here http://ivo.org/simonh/posts/you-never-get-a-second-chance-to-make-a-first-impression).
Your blog reminded me of it :)
Happy work birthday! I actually hadn't thought of advertising our opportunities on here. I literally have NO idea why not as I've seen lots of yours go up! Sometimes those dots just don't connect... It's good though, we've just cancelled our do-it account so can give ivo a go in its place (and for free!).