We were all delighted to learn recently that WRVS has been awarded Investing in Volunteers (IiV) status. It’s particularly satisfying as we are the largest and most complex organisation to gain the award both in terms of number of volunteers and geographical spread.
The award means that we are recognised as an organisation that appreciates and values its volunteers and is committed to ensuring that we offer meaningful volunteering roles. And of course that people have fun when they are working with us.
We are working towards growing our services so that we can help even more older people live the life they want to and that means we are going to need more volunteers, lots more. So having this award will send a message that WRVS is good at volunteering and it’s a great way to contribute to local communities by getting involved.
Of course IiV status does not mean we are perfect. We don’t always get it right. But there is a commitment across the organisation to be fair and open and to deal with issues that crop up quickly and effectively.
We have spent the last two years producing practical guides for managers on all aspects of volunteering and then working alongside them to make sure they feel confident. This was reflected in the IiV report when assessors visited many of our services to meet with volunteers and staff. Their feedback was brilliant; it’s clear that our people did us proud.
But this is just the start. It’s great to be recognised in this way but we will be continuing to look for ways to improve our volunteering offer and we are already thinking ahead to three years’ time when we will be going for reaccreditation. We have taken on board the points in the final report on areas where we could improve and have put plans in place to address these.
We want to be known as experts in the field of volunteering so that our stakeholders and partners have confidence in what we do. Volunteers are at the heart of what we do and so we will always strive to cherish them and encourage new people to get involved.
Why not volunteer for WRVS?!