Responses to the pandemic have shown what leaders of volunteers know to be true – that volunteering and community engagement is and remains a universally strong spirit. People, without being asked to step in, are coming forward to give their time and share their skills, to provide practical assistance, comfort and support; ultimately creating a sense of resilience and strength.
If we are going to effectively build on the interest in volunteering which has come through this crisis, and not lose the positives of the agile and flexible way that people have been able to get involved, organisations need to think widely and creatively about how they engage those who want to give their time – and in order to do this strategically they will need to keep the investment in volunteer management.
Rob Jackson convened a group made up of AVM, the Association of Voluntary Service Managers (AVSM), Heritage Volunteering Group (HVG), the Scottish Volunteering Forum and Volunteer Now, to write an open letter to leaders of organisations which involve volunteers, to let them know the importance of having those who understand and lead on volunteer management at the table when discussing the future.
I’m proud that AVM has taken part in this important piece of work and to have been able to work across our organisations and please do get in touch to feedback and let us know how you’d like us to promote this and support you to get the message out.
Ruth Leonard is Chair of AVM, and Head of Volunteering Development at Macmillan Cancer Support.