International Volunteer Managers Day (IVMDay) was founded and observed for the first time in 1999. It is celebrated every year on November the 5th. This year, it is in its 20th year, and is under the theme “Change the Tune!” to reflect the frustrations experienced in the sector and giving a chance for us to differently about how volunteer leadership is positioned – in the hope that we can change the dialogue. Read more about it here.
Today we are sharing the stories of Volunteer Co-ordinators across Manchester to help raise the profile of the role and the skill that goes into making volunteering happen! Share your stories using the hashtag #IVMDay2019 and remember to tag us on Twitter!
Name: Maria McGregor
Organisation: Crossroads Together
What inspired you to want to work with volunteers?
Having been a volunteer myself, I know the benefits volunteering can have, meeting people, learning new skills etc. I have been fortunate to have worked alongside many volunteers. The range of skills they can bring to a charity can make all the difference, Working with volunteers is a job I truly believe in.
What does a typical work day look like for you?
I arrive in the office around 9am. My first job is to check emails for any new applicants and deal with them- send out applications forms, send for references, forward details to the relevant teams.
I have a number of adverts in volunteer centres, so get a variety of applicants for a variety of task, some of these will go through our process, others may be signposted to a more appropriate voluntary role elsewhere.
Sometimes I may need to write a new volunteering role, or tweak existing ones, this can involve going to different locations to meet with teams. (for example-our charity shop). We have a number of volunteers working in the office I am based. So regular catch ups, chats about on going training, support etc.
No day is the same and variety is always expected.
What is the thing that you love most about your job?
Without doubt, the wonderful people I get to meet.
What is the most challenging part of your job?
Keeping on top of all the paperwork, procedures, training, making sure everyone has been placed in the best possible role for them.
What advice would you give to someone new to the role of managing volunteers?
Start small! 1 volunteer at time. Its so easy to get carried away- if necessary take an advert down until you've caught up with yourself.
Also, Its OK to say no to someone and signpost. There is something for everyone, it just might not be in your charity.
What is your favourite volunteer-related memory/experience?
My favourite experience is ongoing- watching people grow with confidence and become valued members of their team.
Any words of wisdom for volunteers?
If you're not happy in a certain role, ask for change! and if you have skills you feel may benefit your charity, don't be afraid to offer. I can be sure it will be very much appreciated.
Finally, what song sums up your experience working with volunteers?
With a little help from my friends- The Beatles