Following the discussion about the merger and Sue Jones’ various tweets, Volunteering England last week asked how they should they be advocating for and supporting volunteer managers.
For those of you who have read some of my recent blogs you'll know this is a cause dear to my heart. I was involved in setting up AVM (although am no longer involved except as a member) and for me the fundamental reasons for doing so were that:
I think there is much for us to discuss in how we develop volunteer management – off the top of my head I can think of professionalisation, accreditation, career pathways, salary parity to name but a few. But there remains the big one, the one we still struggle with. Acceptance.
Acceptance that volunteer management is a ‘proper’ role.
Acceptance that volunteer management is a necessary role.
Because too often it seems to be considered a luxury when times are good, and something easily sliced off when times are bad.
And this is where Volunteering England come in. Yes, they could do lots of great things around professionalisation, accreditation etc but as Rob Woolley pointed out in one of my earlier blogs, these are truly meaty issues. Is that what we want them to spend their valuable time and resources on?
So what should they do? As a starting point, mine is a simple wish list.
The value of having an organisation like VE is that it can do the campaigning and influencing role that we can’t currently do by ourselves.
Never forget that when we talk about volunteer management what we are really talking about is respecting our volunteers sufficiently to properly invest in their effectiveness, their development and their safety.
That’s what I want – what about you?