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International Volunteer Managers Day: Healthy Me Healthy Communities

5 Nov 2019 - 15:31 by aleena.khan

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: Sally Devine
Organisation: Healthy Me Healthy Communities

What inspired you to want to work with volunteers?
I volunteered in a homelessness organisation and realised how fantastic working with volunteers is, which made me want to develop it into a career. They are passionate, interesting, and so much fun! They work has as individuals and in their teams to provide the best care for the needs of the communities we work, and are always looking out for those who may be in a difficult situation and in need of extra support. Volunteers are amazing, extremely valuable, and I learn so much from them whilst also having a laugh at the same time!! Volunteers are amazing, extremely valuable, and without then so many services which are a lifeline to so many people in the city and throughout the UK could not exist.

What does a typical work day look like for you?
No two days are the same. It can involve having a meeting with another services we are partnered with, having a volunteer team meeting, collecting a food donation, supporting volunteers in carrying out their shift at one of our projects, and being on hand for any support that is required during the shift, helping to clean up, checking in with volunteers how they found the shift and how they are doing, and then going through my emails.

What is the thing that you love most about your job?
Meeting volunteers from all walks of life and being motivated by their passion and determination to help their communities. I learn so much from them whilst also having a laugh at the same time!!

What is the most challenging part of your job?
Being able to provide each volunteer with as much time as I would like to, and making sure I give each volunteer equal time.

What advice would you give to someone new to the role of managing volunteers?
To make sure you regularly let volunteers know how much you appreciate their hard work, and to actively listen to their ideas and opinions.

What is your favourite volunteer-related memory/experience?
Seeing one of our volunteers win the Volunteer of the Year award at this years Spirit of Manchester Awards, after 25 years of service!!

Any words of wisdom for volunteers?
Be confident that you can give a lot to the role and open minded about the different ways you can help. And don't be afraid to be vocal about any ideas that you have!

Finally, what song sums up your experience working with volunteers?
What a Difference a Day Makes by Dinah Washington - because one day of volunteering makes so much of a difference!

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