What they said about AVM

On the launch of AVM:

Messages from the UK

“Volunteering is an opportunity for people to use their experiences to help and empower others. Volunteers make a real difference to their communities and could not achieve this without the support of volunteer managers. I am pleased to see the launch of the Association of Volunteer Managers so that best practice on effective volunteer management can be shared across the country.”

– Ed Miliband MP, Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster

“Despite the huge increase in interest in volunteering in recent years, volunteer management has remained a largely under-resourced and poorly supported profession. And yet we know that without the dedication, skill and creativity of volunteer managers the true value of volunteering – for the volunteer, the recipient and for society at large – will remain unrealised.

Volunteering England welcomes this new Association as a mechanism for raising the status and influence of this most valuable group of social entrepreneurs and looks forward to working with it over the coming years to help provide better levels of professional support and higher standards of volunteer engagement.”

– Justin Davis Smith, Chief Executive, Volunteering England

“YouthNet has volunteering right at its heart. We involve volunteers directly in all aspects of our work. This includes both TheSite.org, which is the first place that all young people can turn to when they need trusted information, advice and support, and do-it.org.uk which is designed to make volunteering easy – connecting people, communities and organisations to inspire positive change.

Leading, inspiring and involving volunteers excellently is therefore something we care about passionately and hugely welcome the arrival of AVM. You should be proud of your mission, as it will help to raise the status and profile of your important role in ensuring volunteers get the best quality experiences.”

– Fiona Dawe OBE, Chief Executive, YouthNet

“We rely very much on the 50,000 volunteers who give their time, knowledge and experience to their local Age Concern. We know that volunteering doesn’t just happen and that volunteer managers are crucial in ensuring that volunteers have a rewarding experience and delivering effective services. We therefore welcome the Association of Volunteer Managers and the support it will give.”

– Gordon Lishman, Director General, Age Concern England

“Last year over 49,000 people volunteered with the National Trust giving them a chance to gain skills, contribute to conservation and heritage and have lots of fun. We recognise that good practice in volunteer management is crucial to the Trust’s success in recruiting and retaining these volunteers and the continued support and development of our volunteer managers, whether paid or unpaid, is one of our key priorities over the next three years. We are looking forward to working with the Association on this.”

– Fiona Reynolds CBE, Director General, The National Trust

“Research undertaken for the Commission on the Future of Volunteering by Roehampton University’s Centre for the Study of Voluntary and Community Activity concluded that a key factor in developing expertise and good practice among the two hundred thousand people who manage the work of volunteers was the creation of a specialist but inclusive professional body. We were therefore delighted to hear about the formation of the Association of Volunteer Managers and will support its work in any way we can.”

– Colin Rochester, Director, Centre for Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Management, Roehampton University

“The time gifted by RSPB volunteers makes a real difference to the work we can achieve for wild birds. In return, it is essential that volunteers have a rewarding and enjoyable experience, and that’s down to those who manage them. The new Association of Volunteer Managers in England is therefore an important and welcome step in supporting those who manage volunteers.”

– Graham Wynne, CEO, RSPB

“Cancer Research UK, like many charities, depends on the energy, enthusiasm and commitment of thousands of volunteers. Last year over 45,000 people volunteered in our shops, offices and within their own communities, all of them supported by a network of volunteer managers.

The role played by volunteer managers in the success of our organisation is vital and yet it is a role often under valued in the sector in which we work. I welcome the Association of Volunteer Managers and look forward to working closely with it, sharing best practice, learning from others and raising the profile of volunteer management across the UK.”

– Annette Breeden, Head of Volunteering, Cancer Research UK

“Giving of yourself, through volunteering can be both an act of courage and a point of vulnerability. Such commitment deserves the best support, and we are very pleased to be able to support the AVM”

– David Wood, Chief Executive, Attend

“The Children’s Society is fortunate to have a family of over 10,000 volunteers who every week give time and energy to helping us achieve our mission of ensuring that all children have a good childhood, free from danger, discrimination or disadvantage.

The Children’s Society recognises that to motivate, retain and protect this network of volunteers we must ensure good practice and adequate support to the staff who manage them. The launch of the Association of Volunteer Managers is therefore welcome to The Children’s Society to help us to meet best practice standards and raise the profile of the worth of volunteering in England today.”

– Bob Reitemeier, Chief Executive, Children’s Society

Messages from the USA

“The UK is the most innovative arena for volunteering in the world, with government and private schemes multiplying at an amazing rate. As we know, however, all of these worthy efforts rely on the capacity of local organisations to effectively involve volunteers, and the capacity of these organisations relies on the competence and authority of the manager of volunteers.

Associations such as AVM are indispensable to providing consultation on the parameters of new volunteering initiatives, preparing volunteer managers for new responsibilities, and allowing organised networking that fosters sustained progress, not just sporadic efforts.”

– Steve McCurley

Messages from Canada

“Despite the intensely important role volunteers play in most western cultures and now in many other countries around the world, its value and embeddedness in our way of life is all too rarely acknowledged. Along with an increasing reliance on volunteers to maintain our precious way of life in our communities, as well as essential social, health, environmental and cultural services has come greater demand for thoughtful and effective volunteer program management techniques.

None of these extraordinarily important community assets can be ensured without a robust association of managers of volunteer programs and AVM should be very proud of its new organizational structure. Surely it will enhance the ongoing engagement of citizens throughout England to the benefit of all. Congratulations!”

– Linda Graff, President and Senior Associate, Linda Graff And Associates Inc

Messages from Australia

“The concept of a professional body for managers of volunteers is about a commitment to the idea of standards for our profession, building our practice and enhancing the capacity, status and quality of the voluntary sector.

Your association will lead to a reversal of the sense of isolation, disempowerment and poor financial rewards many in the sector feel. Ultimately, it will raise the profile and status of volunteerism as a key tool not for profits employ to build the social capital of society. All strength to you at AVM.”

– Martin J Cowling, People First -Total Solutions

“I believe that every sector needs a voice and an advocate – a group made up of experienced practitioners in the field who have a passion for what happens in the sector today and in the future. An association can and must help ensure that the position of volunteer management is one which is fairly remunerated and on an equal footing with similar management roles within agencies. Volunteering is an important cog in the wheel of society.

Volunteer management helps facilitate the provision of volunteer services and a volunteer management association represents the interest of those in that sector.”

– DJ Cronin, President, Australasian Association of Volunteer Administrators