What exactly is Volunteer Friendly?
The Volunteer Friendly Award is a simple, user-friendly quality standard designed by Volunteer Centre Dundee to support, recognise and reward groups who are good at involving volunteers.
What is it for?
Volunteer Friendly is about recognising that groups are good at working with volunteers. It's about helping groups to keep doing what they do well and understand what they could do better. And it's about rewarding groups for all their hard work with volunteers.
What does it involve?
Each group works through a checklist of tasks, with the help of their local Volunteer Centre. The checklist looks at what the group does and how it does it. The group has to produce a folder of evidence to show how it works with volunteers. Evidence could include policies or examples of forms or even photos - whatever is right for the group. There is also a Toolkit to help groups who want to improve what they do or fill in any gaps. Once the folder of evidence is complete and has been assessed by the local Volunteer Centre, the group gets the Volunteer Friendly Award.
How long will it take?
Each group works through the award at their own pace. Some groups may finish in three months; others may take longer. It's up to you.
What are the benefits?
Working through the Volunteer Friendly Award gives groups the chance to improve volunteer management practices and procedures. Everyone who uses a group's services, its volunteers and paid staff, its funders and its management committees, should benefit from Volunteer Friendly.
How might Volunteer Friendly help with funding?
Nowadays most funders look for evidence of good practice in managing volunteers. Having a Volunteer Friendly Award shows funders that your practices have been examined and found to be of a high standard.
What do we do if we want to go ahead?
Midlothian Organisations who are Volunteer Friendly
- Midlothian Sure Start - achieved April 2015
- National Mining Museum Scotland - achieved June 2017
- Rosewell Development Trust - achieved June 2017
- Volunteer Midlothian - achieved November 2017
- Ageing Well Midlothian - achieved June 2018
Feedback from organisations
"The whole process of the Award was designed to be accessible, flexible around your own work schedule and supportive.
Working with staff from Volunteer Midlothian was a great way to ensure continuity and access support from another third sector organisation who knew us an organisation but also Midlothian as a local authority area.
The Volunteer Friendly Award is a useful tool to reflect, adapt and improve the policies, procedures and overall management of an organisation involving volunteers. It was great to work on with our Volunteers and other organisations local to Rosewell and would recommend pursuing this as an accredited option for any small charities involving volunteers in their work."
Fiona Inglis, Community Engagement Manager at Rosewell Development Trust
“Working towards and achieving the Volunteer Friendly Award through Volunteer Midlothian has been a very positive and useful experience. It allowed us to see what we were already doing right, as well as how to improve what we offer to our volunteers. Volunteer Midlothian have been very supportive throughout and we have already seen the benefit some of the changes we have implemented”.
David Bell, Assistant Curator, National Mining Museum Scotland