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Volunteers

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The whole Easter Team 2014

The Challenge UK volunteers, at New Southgate

All Millennium Greens were intended to be run by volunteers, although many use some kind of professional workers at least occasionally.


Getting Volunteers Edit

  • Contact your local authority, they usually have some kind of co-ordination group for volunteers. They may keep databases that you can be on. It is best to try and keep in touch with them as they tend to direct volunteers to whichever organisations they keep in their minds.
  • Register your volunteer vacancies on the internet, such as Do-it.org.
  • Promoting the Green via posters, events, internet, newspaper articles and letters etc. can get volunteers, especially if such media are positive, attractive and up-to date.

Keeping Volunteers Edit

  • Keeping in touch with your volunteers is important- we all have lots of demands on our time and regularly, though not TOO regularly calling them may help.
  • Having fun- in interesting Events, but also on regular volunteering days.
  • Training them and giving them new and interesting tasks.

Training Volunteers Edit

This could/should involve the following:

Internal TrainingEdit

Even if your Green does not have any qualified people, use what experience you have and offer some kind of semi-formal training, so that people gain in confidence.

External TrainingEdit

If you can get qualified people to come to the Green or arrange for your team to go somewhere to be trained they will gain skills which will benefit the team and the Green. Contact Local Authorities, Libraries and on-line, to find out what may be available in your area.

Rewarding VolunteersEdit

You can consider paying some kind of travel/food expences if you have more money than volunteers. Short of actually paying them, you can offer them whatever you do have- produce from the trees and plants; offers from friendly companies to recognised volunteers; food and drink while volunteering. Many volunteers are attracted to experience and something on their CV. New Southgate only offer references to those volunteers who pass their Certificate of Volunteer Training, thus ensuring the volunteer stays and contributes a while before being eligable, but in return gets a better, more substantial reference.

Some volunteers may feel that they want a more substantial position than you can offer them- one with more hours of work or more to learn. Linking with other bodies and sharing volunteers may help with that. If you can demonstrate that you are willing to take steps with them over time, then they may be willing to work with you until your organisation can offer them what they want. Setting them specific volunteer goals after which they can join your Committee; get keys to the locker; get a reference; get expenses paid can all keep volunteers.

Groups to Apply toEdit

All official bodies that can send volunteers to you are likely to want you to have various official documents, ensuring that they will not be liable themselves- this could mean Equal Opportunities; Health & Safety; proper application paperwork etc, which they may need to keep copies of.

  • Most universities have departments that can place volunteers. If you have any place of Higher Education near you, contact them to get put on their list.
  • Local Authorities usually have a volunteer team. Getting in with them is very important. Don't just fill in a form and leave it to them- Ask to meet them; let them know how the volunteers they send you get on; invite them to your events; ensure that your Green comes to mind when they are recommending people to places.
  • Companies also do volunteer projects.
  • Youth organisations, such the Scouts, Guides, the Challenge etc. are all looking for places to go and things to do. Some may even offer funding to go with any offers of help.
  • Other local charities, such as disability groups and groups involving retired people are often looking for places to do activities.

Young People Edit

It is possible to have young people of any age volunteering; Halton Village use Brownies. However, the Trust must set up policies about what jobs young people can do at what age and what supervision they should have and by whom. If under 18's are used as work experience, for example, their school or college will have restrictions.

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