Achieving the Investing in Volunteers Quality Standard is formal recognition for the excellent work Launchpad does with its volunteers, but probably doesn’t tell the organisation’s service users anything they didn’t already know – that the volunteers are dedicated people who are able to be effective in what they do because they are well supported and highly motivated.
Sharon Mullis Launchpad’s Volunteer Co-ordinator said after hearing ‘we are absolutely delighted to be awarded the Investing in Volunteers! We see it as recognition of the commitment of our amazing volunteers, as well as acknowledgement on how the volunteer project is managed.’
Investing in Volunteers is the UK quality standard for all organisations involving volunteers. Investing in Volunteers aims to improve the quality of the volunteering experience for all volunteers and for organisations to acknowledge the enormous contribution made by volunteers. Investing in Volunteers is managed by the UK Volunteering Forum and delivered by NCVO, Volunteer Development Scotland, Volunteer Development Agency in Northern Ireland and Wales Council for Voluntary Action.
Robert Hall Launchpad’s IT volunteer helps support people at Launchpad who have a wide range of IT skills from those who have never used a computer to some who are fairly proficient but just need help brushing up their skills to help them get a job. Robert relishes the opportunity doing something worthwhile with clients, that helps build their confidence by a sense of achievement – he’s recently been working with a Launchpad client who produced a poster to help raise encourage community engagement for a local church. And is now helping Launchpad develop a Functional Skills qualification which will involve working toward a City and Guilds qualification.
Launchpad was assessed against a range of best practice standards and proved to excel in all aspects of working with its volunteers.
Investing in Volunteers is unique in that it is the only standard that focuses on volunteers. It is based on four areas of volunteer management; planning for volunteer involvement, recruiting volunteers, selecting and matching volunteers and supporting and retaining volunteers. Further information about the Standard can be found on www.investinginvolunteers.org.uk. The Standard will enhance volunteer management and is rigorous but designed to be simple to implement and not to generate large amounts of paperwork. It is the only quality standard that has independent external validation with a UK Quality Assurance Panel that makes recommendations to the UK Volunteering Forum, the awarding body.
Pictured are volunteer Rob and Sharon Launchpad’s Volunteer Co-ordinator holding the Investing in Volunteers Award certificate and volunteers Winnie and Claire holding a celebration poster of all of Launchpad’s 2013-14 volunteers