What are the different routes for volunteers in Croydon?
People in Croydon typically get involved in volunteering through three main routes:
Going direct to a local group or organisation and offering to help out – can also happen through word of mouth or social media promotion.
They sign up to organisations like Red Cross or NHS volunteering or directly approaching other large national charities like MacMillan.
Over 1000 people in Croydon signed up for the CVA volunteering programme in response to COVID-19. Over 300 potential volunteers remain contactable and on standby, but this figure could change. We have promoted various opportunities to this group so far and may be able to do so again. Please get in touch if you think this may be relevant.
I have a volunteer role I want to promote – who can help me with this?
To promote a non-urgent volunteering opportunity with CVA’s Volunteer Centre, submit an opportunity registration form. Alternatively, contact us to discuss this in more detail.
If you are looking for emergency response, short-term volunteers in Croydon, which could include initiatives related to COVID-19, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
How are volunteering opportunities promoted in Croydon?
Opportunities registered with CVA’s Volunteer Centre a promoted on our [website], as long as you can commit to the conditions in question five. We can also advertise Volunteering opportunities via regional and national search engines, www.do-it.org.uk – you will need to register with them separately to advertise an opportunity across multiple local authority areas.
We also promote members’ opportunities via our social media channels and website.
What if the organisation I work for promotes its opportunities on its website?
Agencies like the Red Cross and NHS have channels to promote opportunities, although they advertise some volunteer roles via CVA’s Volunteer Centre.
There is absolutely no reason why your opportunities can’t be advertised on multi websites; once on our website, it has a unique web link that is easily shared, so more people will see it.
What else do I need to do to recruit volunteers?
Good planning and preparation are essential when involving volunteers to clarify expectations and enable a positive experience for everyone involved. Whatever the opportunity, we recommend that volunteer-involving organisations in Croydon put the following things in place:
- Public liability insurance and a volunteering policy.
- A role description and volunteering agreement for each volunteer role.
- Risk-assessments for each volunteer role, taking into view COVID-19 and a Safe Guarding Policy.
Most larger organisations that involve volunteers will already have a volunteering policy. If you work for Croydon Council, you should speak with your head of dept. for more information. Similarly, the NHS has its own policies and procedures for volunteer involvement and a dedicated voluntary services team that usually oversees NHS volunteering.
Volunteering activity that sits with Health and Social Care Partnerships is more complicated regarding which policies and procedures apply, so guidance should be sought from a service manager in the first instance.
Is volunteering admin and paperwork necessary?
Volunteering is not a legally defined process in the same way that employment is, but it can and should be underpinned by certain formalities. Having the correct procedures in place makes volunteering safer and more accountable for everyone involved. This is especially true in the context of COVID-19 but also concerning GDPR (data protection) and Safe Guarding. Good volunteering infrastructure can help to protect volunteers, service users, staff and organisations.
Are there examples of risk assessments?
Yes, for risk assessments you can go to HSE where you can download templates. You will find on CVA’s website [resource bank] a full range of templates that can be used and adapted as necessary for your project or organisation. You may also find it interesting to look at NAVCA website, which explores many different volunteering related issues from an organisational point of view.
Are there any other COVID-19 specific considerations?
Yes. The possibility of contracting COVID-19 when volunteering should be discussed in advance with each individual volunteer. If that person has a health condition making them more vulnerable to COVID-19, we recommend that you support them to pursue digital, remote or outdoor roles, avoiding indoor face-to-face contact. Government guidance about specific medical conditions and COVID-19 can be found here.
Can I get advice from those who manage volunteers?
Yes. Our Volunteer Manager’s Forum, which meets every three months, is a great place to network with other volunteer managers (paid and unpaid) and share ideas around best practices in volunteering.