Tips for supervising volunteers

By Chris Trevorrow. August 2022.

Our recent workshop on supervision skills for those managing volunteers, shared tips on how best to manage the supervision. 

Prepare

  • What has happened since the last meeting with the volunteer?
  • Are there any current issues involving the volunteer? If you need to give critical feedback do your homework first.
  • Is there any news you wish to share with them?
  • Have you set aside enough time and space?  Don’t take calls or allow interruptions.  Decide how long the supervision should be and arrange the meeting with the volunteer letting them know how long to allow.  Be prepared to manage the time.
  • Make the setting friendly and informal? Don’t use the desk as a barrier, maybe offer a drink, check the volunteer is comfortable, and check if they have any time constraints.

For first time supervision: explain to the volunteer in advance what the meeting is for:

  • For the volunteer to:
  • give their feedback
  • highlight anything they might need to help them with their role
  • For the supervisor to:
  • give feedback on the volunteers performance in the role, recognising and building on strengths and exploring any areas for improvement
  • highlight any organisational issues that might impact on the volunteer
  • Together:
    • Agree any actions to be taken

Start with the volunteer  ASK & LISTEN

  • What has gone well since the last supervision?
  • What have been the challenges/difficulties?
  • What might you do differently to overcome these?
  • What do we need to do differently to support you?
  • Are there any ideas or questions that you would like to raise about your role or the organisation as a whole?

If you have queries on this, or anything else relating to running a voluntary group, get in touch with us on enquiries@cambridgecvs.org.uk

Zoom in on zoom session – Volunteering for All

By Ellie Lee, Volunteering Development Worker and Amy, CCVS Volunteer. November 2021

Recently, we, (Amy and Ellie) organised the first online session dedicated to supporting people with disabilities to find out about volunteering.

In preparation we produced some stylish slides to help us remember what we wanted to say and to remind us to introduce ourselves. (It would not have been the first time I, Ellie, failed to introduce myself and just started to talk! 😊)

During the session we explained our roles, Ellie’s as the Volunteering Development worker at CCVS and Amy’s as an incredible CCVS volunteer who has been with the project since it was born. Ellie talked about how she supports clients, inviting them to a 1:1 interview, to help them untangle doubts about volunteering and encourage them to explore different opportunities.

Amy did a great job of explaining how important volunteering is to her and talked about all the roles she is currently undertaking. She volunteers in an EACH (East Anglia Children’s Hospice) charity shop in Cambridge, she assists at two Tai Chi classes, she helps organise the Funky Club (a night club for people with disabilities), and of course, she is a valuable CCVS volunteer and helps Ellie organise events such as the volunteer Walk and Talk and online sessions. Amy also produces articles and media content. Keep an eye out for Amy’s future blogs for more details of her volunteer roles.

We met some very enthusiastic people at our first online session, some of whom are already volunteering, and some who want to begin to get involved with local community projects.

There are many different options for volunteering and attendees shared experiences, and inspiring reasons for getting involved. We discussed the many benefits of volunteering, how rewarding it can be, and how it can improve confidence and skills. People often think that very specific and professional skills are required, but we also discussed how everyone has skills to offer, even though they may not be aware of them. Lived experience, empathy and enthusiasm make a good foundation.

We encouraged everyone to think about how to start their volunteer journey and had a conversation about breaking it down into manageable steps. By the end of the session, we were able to point one participant in the direction of one of our lovely local charities, and by the end of the day a meeting had already been arranged.

We’d like to thank everyone who joined us and for their enthusiasm and interaction.

We were both very happy with the first trial session, and we are looking forward to many more!

Do get in touch if you would like to join us in future.

Ellie and Amy

Keeping communities safe during winter – free webinar

Invitation from The Cabinet Office & The UK Health Security Agency

UK Health Security Agency logo

Keeping communities safe during winter webinar

Thursday 21st October 2021, 3.00 pm – 4.00 pm

Community leaders have played a vital role during the pandemic. As the colder months begin to set in, we will be holding a series of Keeping Communities Safe During Winter webinars on Zoom to support community and faith leaders, voluntary and community groups with their ongoing engagement and communications. The next one takes place on Thursday 21st  October 2021 at 3.00 pm and, as well as providing an overview of the most up-to-date Government guidance, it will focus on engaging young people with vaccinations. Attending the Zoom webinar will give you an opportunity to:

  1. Get the latest information from the government officials and hear from health officials on COVID-19 vaccine efficacy
  2. ask questions and discuss ideas for effective engagement, particularly with young people
  3. inform the Government about challenges, barriers and experiences in communities

We encourage all community leaders to attend. Please forward this invitation to other leaders in your community.

Click here to register 

There will be ample opportunity to ask questions. To submit a question in advance or if you have any questions about the webinar, contact Obaayaa Asantewaa or Pascoe Sawyers at community.resources@dhsc.gov.uk.

Additionally, If you require British Sign Language (BSL) interpretation, please email community.resources@dhsc.gov.uk by Friday 15th October so that this can be provided.

Online fundraising in rural communities: learn and share

Join us on 10th Dec 6pm to 7.30pm to look at alternatives to grant funding particularly for rural groups and communities.

This event will include a presentation by Naomh Campbell (Co-op member pioneer coordinator for the Eastern Region) who, with her team is looking to work with more local causes offering support and advise.  We will also have interviews from two successful community fundraisers with one running  a crowdfunding campaign and another putting their community fundraising events online. 

We will touch on social investment and community share schemes to assess the level of interest for a future more in depth session on these topics.

To book your place http://www.cambridgecvs.org.uk/training-events/view/375

Beyond the Inquisition – a reflection on our recent Trustees Question Time event

Featured

Taking part in this joint event with our colleagues at Hunts Forum has been one of the highlights for me, of what has been a challenging year.  The Question Time panel was diverse, informed and inspirational and they sent out some clear messages in response to the varied questions put to them.[1]

On diversity; we can’t sit and wait for it to happen we need to get out there and talk to people, let them see who we are, what we do and how they could make a difference.  We need to ask ourselves:

  • Do we look like somewhere that welcomes people from different backgrounds and experiences? 
  • Are we advertising our opportunities in places that a more diverse audience will see them?
  • Are we removing unnecessary barriers to encourage people to find out more?  Are we set up to recognise people’s potential, offering support and mentoring where needed? 
  • Do we know about the motivations, skills and interests of our fellow trustees?  What are the gaps in our knowledge bank, how will we plug these gaps?
  • Is our culture open to difference? When are meetings held?  Do we encourage trustees to claim expenses so that those on low incomes are not disadvantaged?
  • Can we take advantage of the help on offer?  For example, the Young Trustees Movement  exists to help develop a relationship between organisations and young people so that they can contribute their leadership skills within an open and supportive environment.

To lead our organisations through this crisis we need to be willing to learn and to listen to all our stakeholders. We need to

  • Think ahead to plan effectively 
  • Look for evidence to demonstrate the impact of what we are doing
  • Seek to mitigate the impact of increased stress and isolation on staff and volunteer teams
  • Collaborate with others  

All this needs to happen as we ensure that we keep our charitable purpose at the heart of what we do.

To discuss any of these issues further feel free to contact the development team at Hunts Forum or CCVS.  You might also be interested in upcoming online training our organisations offer, free to the voluntary sector, as part of our Support Cambridgeshire project particularly:

  • Effective Business planning which includes developing a theory of change planning model and putting together a business plan.  26th November 9.30 to 12
  • Essential skills for trustees. A two-part event will take place over 2 evenings one week apart aimed at giving trustees from community organisations and small charities the essential tools to perform their role safely and effectively. 18th & 21st January 6pm to 8pm

Written by Chris Trevorrow training and development worker for CCVS


[1] Out trustee Question time panellists:

Virginia Henley, Head of Charities, Education and Social Enterprise at Hewitsons LLP Northampton. She is a school governor and a trustee. Virginia specialises in advising charities, universities and schools, and a wide range of not-for-profit organisations on the core legal, regulatory and governance issues they face.

Monica Brown, Head of Charity Advisory and Programmes at the Charities Aid Foundation. She is an experienced senior charity executive with extensive experience of working in and with the voluntary sector including 12 years as the National Head of England for BBC Children in Need.

Anthony Wheeler, East of England Ambassador for the Young Trustees Movement and Chair of Trustees of Cambridge Student Community Action. Anthony first became a trustee at 20 and is passionate about empowering young people and breaking down barriers. He’s part of the 1% of trustees under 26 and 3% under 30.

Patricia Rose, The Diversity Trust – Pat Rose is part of the Windrush generation who came from the Caribbean to the UK as child in the sixties. The challenges of growing up in a predominantly white working-class background inspired a lifelong commitment to Equality and Social Justice. In 2014 Pat won the Mental Health Professional Award in the BBC radio 4’s “All in the mind” National Awards.