With an estimated 14.2 million people volunteering for groups, clubs or organisations at least once a month, the latest figures value formal volunteering at an estimated £22.6bn.
Society couldn’t survive without volunteers, and now is the perfect time to tell them what a great job they’re doing.
Volunteers’ Week takes place every year from 1 to 7 June and is a nation-wide campaign to thank volunteers and celebrate the huge contribution they make.
The theme for this year’s Volunteers’ Week is ‘you make the difference’, which provides an ideal opportunity for organisations to think, talk and even tweet about the impact their volunteers make.
Show volunteers the impact of their work
It’s important for volunteers to know that the time and skills they donate are valued and appreciated. Volunteers are not around all the time, so it can sometimes be difficult for them to see the difference their volunteering makes to beneficiaries.
Could you, for example, use Volunteers’ Week to speak to your service users and find out from them why having volunteers involved is important to them? Then share this with your volunteer team.
You could also post on social media or write a press release like this showing what volunteers have achieved.
Find creative ways to say thank you
People rarely volunteer just to get thanks and kudos, but they sometimes stop volunteering if they feel their efforts go unnoticed. We all feel more motivated when we know our contribution is appreciated, so why not visit the Volunteers Week website to get some ideas about different ways to show your gratitude to your volunteers. This site provides a downloadable resource pack to enable you to create bunting for events, certificates of thanks etc.
Demonstrate the impact volunteers make
It’s important for organisations to demonstrate the impact of their volunteering programmes. Get some ideas about how to put together a good story about what volunteers help you to achieve by reading this article about the difference made by volunteers with the London Bubble Theatre Company.
This type of case study can help show your funders why investing in volunteers is money well-spent. It has the added benefit of inspiring potential volunteers so they can see why joining your organisation would be a good use of their time, how they will benefit and what they can help you to achieve.
Encourage people to make a difference
Volunteering is a tangible and powerful way to make a difference in our communities and in our own lives, at a time when some of us are struggling to see how we can change things for the better. Why not use Volunteers’ Week to recruit more people to support your work?
Encourage people to see how they can make a difference locally through volunteering. We have lots of opportunities advertised on our website and anyone who would like more information can call the Volunteer Centre Redbridge team on 0208 514 9624.