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Emotionally challenging situations and difficult conversations – London

July 10, 2018 | 10:00 am - 4:15 pm

Emotional resilience, compassion fatigue and having difficult conversations with volunteers

10 July 2018 at Hanbury Hall | Spitalfields | London

Managing volunteers can sometimes be an emotionally challenging experience.

  • Do you have the guidance and support necessary to cope effectively with these situations?
  • Have you had useful guidance on saying ‘No’ to volunteers, or on supporting volunteers and /or clients in stressful situations?

This event aims to discuss these crucial issues and offer some practical guidance both on techniques and best practice. With a combination of presentations and interactive workshops from experienced practitioners, this promises to be a busy and rewarding day.

There will be opportunities for networking and for attendees to share their experiences and opinions.


Click to view more information about the session

10 -10:30am – Registration

Registration –  tea, coffee and networking.

10.30 – 10.40am – Welcome address
10.40 – 11.10am – What is emotional resilience? – Debbie Usiskin

Debbie Usiskin, Volunteer Engagement Manager, North London Hospice

What is emotional resilience and why do we talk about it in relation to volunteers and volunteer managers? This presentation will look at different theories and models and consider how an understanding and awareness of emotional resilience can impact volunteering organisations.

11.10am – 12.10pm – Workshop – Debbie Usiskin

This interactive workshop follows on from the previous presentation. It includes a description of the level 2 accredited training offered at North London Hospice, followed by some sample exercises and then a debriefing. The original course aimed to enable volunteers at hospices to provide emotional support to patients and their families and friends.

12:10 – 12:45pm – Supporting volunteer managers through emotionally challenging situations – Kathryn Palmer-Skillings

Kathryn Palmer-Skillings, Volunteer Services Manager, London, Macmillan Cancer Support

Volunteer managers in Macmillan local services are often faced with emotionally taxing situations including safeguarding, bereavement and emotional strain from service users. Macmillan’s London Services Volunteering Team use a number of support mechanisms to ensure Volunteer Managers, some of whom are volunteers themselves, are able to maintain their wellbeing. This session will explore our approach to:

  • Maintaining boundaries
  • Living in the community where you work/volunteer
  • Peer support and more formal support
  • The role of the volunteer recruitment journey and volunteer induction in supporting emotional well-being

12:45pm – Roundtable discussion
1.05pm – Lunch

Lunch, provided (please ensure we know of any special dietary needs)

1.55 – 2.30pm – How to approach challenging conversations – Adam Williams

Adam Williams, Regional Operations Manager (West of England), St. Johns Ambulance

As National Head of Volunteering for St John Ambulance, Adam was responsible for developing and implementing the Volunteering Strategy through large scale organisational change. His presentation will give an overview of a workshop the charity developed and delivered around having ‘challenging conversations’ with volunteers, and how to approach them.

2.30 – 3pm – How to manage difficult and challenging conversations – using psychology, neuroscience, empathy and courage – Mandy Rutter

Mandy Rutter, Consultant

Difficult conversations are a significant part of managing people and performance but we rarely receive training on what to say and how to manage the inevitable emotional fall out. Mandy will deliver this presentation, then facilitate the associated workshop.

3 – 3.45pm – Facilitated workshop – Mandy Rutter

This workshop will offer theory around emotions and provide practical guidance for tacking difficult issues. A model of communication will be presented which can help to maintain flow and focus.

3.45 – 4pm – Roundtable discussion
4 – 4.15pm – Closing remarks

This agenda is subject to change

Any enquiries, please contact Greville Southgate, AVM’s L&D Officer, on [email protected] or 020 7426 9192.

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Hanbury Hall
22 Hanbury Street
London, E1 6QR
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Greville Southgate – AVM
020 7426 9192
greville.southgate @volunteermanagers.org.uk

Payment and cancellation terms

Payment must be made by the date of the event.

If you require an invoice, please ensure you book your place a minimum of two weeks before the start date of the event. After that we will only accept payment by credit card or PayPal.

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We know things happen and that sometimes you can’t come to an event. If you are unable to come, you can pass your ticket on to a colleague, but if they are not an AVM member they will need to join AVM. If they don’t, they will be charged at the non-member rate.

If you have to cancel, please let us know in writing.

  • Cancellations received more than 20 days before the start of the event, regardless of date booked, will incur a 25% cancellation charge, whether the place has been paid for or not,
  • Cancellations received 19–0 days before the start of the event, regardless of date booked, will incur a 100% cancellation charge, whether the place has been paid for or not.

AVM will not accept liability for people unable to attend due to circumstances outside our control, such as travel disruption, work commitments, illness, or other personal commitments.

Where circumstances force AVM to cancel an event, the liability of AVM shall be limited to a refund of any fees paid for tickets to that particular event. AVM is not liable for any consequential loss, such as travel costs you may incur.

Terms and conditions

If you are an AVM member, you need to be logged in to be able to buy tickets at the member rate. We reserve the right to re-issue an invoice at the non-member rate if you are not a member at the time of booking.

L&D organisational package holders are limited to five tickets per organisation for an L&D event, and 10 tickets per organisation for AVM’s annual conference. If you would like to make a bulk order, please get in touch.

Buying for colleagues?

If you are buying tickets for colleagues you can only buy tickets at the member rate for them if they are currently members. We reserve the right to re-issue an invoice at the non-member rate if they are not a member at the time of booking.

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AVM is committed to providing access to our events for everyone. We aim to hold all our events at venues that are wheelchair accessible. If you have specific requirements to ensure you can fully take part in an event, please let us know when you book, or as soon as you can.

If you require a personal assistant, carer or BSL interpreter to attend the event with you, they are very welcome, and their place will be free. Please email [email protected] to arrange this. If you require us to source a BSL interpreter for you, please let us know at time of booking, or at least one month in advance.

AVM tries to ensure all dietary requirements are provided for, and commits to providing a menu that includes vegetarian and vegan options. Please let us know if you have specific dietary needs at the time of booking, or as soon as possible.


Whilst the programme is correct at time of going to press, AVM reserves the right to change details of an event without notice. Alterations may occasionally be necessary due to circumstances beyond our control.

Views expressed by speakers are their own. AVM disclaims any liability for advice given, or views expressed, by any speaker at the event or in any documentation provided to delegates.

Professional photography and video production will be taking place at the event, and these images may be used on future promotional and training materials for AVM members. Please note that by attending the event, you are giving your consent for your image to be used on any AVM promotional materials or video recordings.

On the day of the event the delegate list (name, job title and organisation only) may be shared with attendees to facilitate networking. If you do not want your details in the list, please let us know at least three weeks in advance of the event. This delegate list should not be used for sales to our delegates, either during or after the event.