The Volunteer Academy is a one-stop shop for volunteers and volunteer involving organisations. It streamlines processes and procedures for volunteer management and helps individuals and groups to be ‘Volunteer-Ready’.
The Volunteer Academy Model
The Volunteer Academy model operates whereby somebody who expresses an interest in volunteering is seen as normal by the Volunteer Centre Brokerage team to establish their volunteering interests, motivations and aspirations. In addition to this though, a skills audit is completed to produce a personal development/action plan for their individual volunteer journey
The potential volunteer is then invited to attend free training to help them understand volunteering whilst improving their skills and gaining more confidence to carry them forward into whichever voluntary role this wished to try.
The training includes items such as Step Up to Volunteering, a pre volunteering/personal development course; Health & Safety; Equality & Diversity; Safeguarding, or whatever their skills audit might suggest.
From this, they are helped by the Volunteer Centre Brokerage team to find a volunteering opportunity suited to their individual needs and aspirations. Following their introduction into volunteering, the Volunteer Academy supports and mentors the volunteer throughout their volunteering journey. Providing this structured approach to volunteering, saves time, resources and money for volunteer involving organisations as it is an efficient and effective way of recruitment and supporting volunteers.
For volunteer involving organisations, the Volunteer Academy helps organisations to ensure that their volunteer programmes are high quality with relevant structures, support mechanisms, policies and procedures in place to support their volunteers. Essentially, this is aligned to the Investing in Volunteers standard through the Volunteer Charter.
The Academy encompasses 5 key areas:
- Research: An initial assessment needs review meeting; Support with undertaking the Volunteer Investment and Value Audit (VIVA); targeted Volunteer research
- Recruitment: Comprehensive support with developing recruitment materials; support with developing policies/procedures and strategic documents; targeted recruitment campaigns; workshops/information re: new models of volunteering.
- Training: The Academy can develop a tailored package of training for volunteers. If a funded programme is available we will always signpost to this
- Management: Support with the implementation of the Volunteer Charter, audit and development of policies and procedures suitable for volunteers, volunteer programme evaluation
- Representation: Volunteer recognition/celebration events; targeted volunteer events/activities