International Volunteer Managers Day (IVMDay) was founded and observed for the first time in 1999. It is celebrated every year on November the 5th. This year, it is in its 20th year, and is under the theme “Change the Tune!” to reflect the frustrations experienced in the sector and giving a chance for us to differently about how volunteer leadership is positioned – in the hope that we can change the dialogue. Read more about it here.
Today we are sharing the stories of Volunteer Co-ordinators across Manchester to help raise the profile of the role and the skill that goes into making volunteering happen! Share your stories using the hashtag #IVMDay2019 and remember to tag us on Twitter!
Name: Kate Shatliff
Organisation: Home Start Manchester
What inspired you to want to work with volunteers?
I was a volunteer for Home Start Bury myself and found it so rewarding that I decided to change my career.
What does a typical work day look like for you?
There is no such thing as a typical day! I meet and carry out assessments and reviews with families, meet for supervision sessions with volunteers and decide how to move the support on for families. We hold training sessions, individual support meetings and group drop-ins for volunteers, so time may be spent organising, planning these. We have paperwork to complete and are currently migrating to a new online system, so additional time is spent learning this. we also have team and trustee meetings, one to one supervision and safeguarding reflection sessions so time may be spent attending these. It varies so much day to day!
What is the thing that you love most about your job?
I absolutely love the variety! I have introduced volunteer drop-ins and really enjoy seeing volunteers develop their own skills and confidence as they go along their own volunteering journey.
What is the most challenging part of your job?
The most challenging part of the job is getting volunteers to attend additional training, drop-ins or other events. Lots of our volunteers are already very busy so it can be difficult for them to commit more time above their usual volunteering obligations.
We continue to provide interesting and enjoyable sessions which hopefully will give them the motivation to attend.
What advice would you give to someone new to the role of managing volunteers?
Make sure you let your volunteers know how much they are appreciated.
Sometimes they feel like the work they are doing isn't having any impact- I always let them know they are doing a fantastic job and are changing peoples' lives for the better.
What is your favourite volunteer-related memory/experience?
One of our volunteers who was previously supported by Home-Start has had an amazing journey with us.
When her support was due to stop, the time was right for her to attend our 'Parent 2 Volunteer' course which increased her confidence and encouraged her to become a Home start volunteer.
Seeing the positive change in this lady will stay with me forever!
Any words of wisdom for volunteers?
You are making a difference and we couldn't do this wonderful work without you.
Finally, what song sums up your experience working with volunteers?
I have had the most wonderful time working with volunteers. I have loved meeting and supporting them along their volunteering journey, it is an absolute pleasure to see volunteers develop their confidence and gain experience which can enable them to gain qualifications and/or paid employment.