Blog Article

Investing in Volunteers – 3rd Renewal

Investing in Volunteers – 3rd Renewal

Date: 3 May 2024 | By: newpathway

We are proud to announce our success in achieving the Investing in Volunteers (IiV) quality mark/standard for the 3rd time!

“What’s really great about this accreditation is that it demonstrates how much we value our volunteers and our ongoing commitment to volunteering within the organisation", said Ruth Weltch, our volunteer coordinator. "Volunteering has been at the heart of New Pathways for over 30 years, and this award cements our long-standing reputation for high quality volunteering opportunities”.

Investing in Volunteers is the UK quality standard for all organisations involving volunteers. Investing in Volunteers aims to improve the quality of the volunteering experience for all volunteers and demonstrates that organisations value the enormous contribution made by their volunteers.

Investing in Volunteers is delivered by the national volunteering infrastructure bodies in Scotland and Northern Ireland. Together they enable organisations across the UK to achieve the award. The feedback received indicated that New Pathways excels in all aspects of working with its volunteers. The Chair of UKVF (the Awarding Body) said “UKVF is delighted to announce New Pathways' successful achievement of this Award, they have demonstrated a real commitment to volunteering, proven that their volunteer management policies and procedures meet nationally recognised standards.”

Investing in Volunteers is unique in that it is the only standard that focuses on volunteers. It is based on the six quality areas as listed below, along with extracts from the Investing in Volunteers Final Report.

 

Vision for Volunteering

Volunteers had a clear understanding of why they were at New Pathways and their contribution to the organisation. As noted by a volunteer “I feel valued” and “I feel part of New Pathways”.

 

Planning for Volunteers

Management of risk, safeguarding and the protection of volunteers is extremely effective, clear and communicated.

All volunteers noted the training and continuous guidance they receive throughout their volunteering. Comments from volunteers included “exceptional training on safeguarding”. Problem solving was rated highly by volunteers; each volunteer knew who to go to with various types of problems and some noting they were “really impressed” by the process. Many noted that they are informed when the Safeguard Lead is away and who is covering. All volunteers mentioned named members of staff when discussing this area.

The Volunteer Co-ordinator has been highlighted throughout the process as a key person to the success of the volunteer programme at New Pathways. As noted by a volunteer “[Volunteer Co-ordinator] does an excellent job”.

 

Volunteer inclusion

All volunteers are asked if they need any support or reasonable adjustments as part of the recruitment and training process. Many volunteers could remember being asked and a few who needed reasonable adjustments explained how supportive New Pathways had been to them. Comments from volunteers include how New Pathways support is a “breathe of fresh air” compared to other organisations. A volunteer who had firsthand experience of support noted it was “paramount that I know it’s there” to continue to volunteer.

 

Recruiting and welcoming volunteers

Volunteers consistently praised the ongoing training New Pathways provides and is considered excellent and proportional to the volunteers’ role. Many volunteers called it “amazing” and “brilliant”. The continued offer of training in new areas or refresher courses means that volunteers are getting the benefit and support they need for their whole volunteer journey.

 

Supporting volunteers

As an organisation New Pathways has created a clear sense of one team with a goal to support people. As noted by volunteers they see New Pathways having a “feel of a family” and they were “never going to leave”. They should be applauded for managing to create such a strong sense of team while making sure that everyone understands the line between volunteer and staff.

 

Valuing and developing volunteers

The importance of good support was evident throughout the assessment with volunteers feeling trained, confident and knowing, if needed, they would receive support from everyone at New Pathways. This element was embedded and never questioned.

 

Volunteering is an essential element of counsellors achieving their qualifications and developing a comprehensive skillset to enable them to deliver quality support to their clients. Volunteers are also invaluable to us in helping to support the 4000+ clients we see every year and in creating the next generation of counsellors and staff who can go forward and support survivors outside of New Pathways.

Further information about the Standard can be found on investinginvolunteers.co.uk.

If you are interested in becoming a New Pathways volunteer please visit our volunteering page Volunteering - New Pathways or contact our Volunteering Coordinator directly at [email protected].

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