Different types of support
Support is vital for all volunteers and can be offered in a variety of forms. The following list gives some methods for consideration. Choose those that are most appropriate to the roles your volunteers will be undertaking.
Initial briefing meeting as part of induction
This is where new volunteers have an opportunity to ask questions and find out the where, what, who, why, how and when of your group or organisation. You may want to involve other people at this stage, as it is a good time to introduce other volunteers, staff and members of the management committee.
Peer to peer support and buddying
New volunteers can be paired with those more experienced. Volunteers with additional support needs, such as a learning disability, could receive ongoing support from being paired with someone from within the organisation or through an external volunteering support scheme where this exists.
Organise regular meetings for volunteers to talk and discuss the project, what they are doing and ideas for development. Members of the group can offer one another support and reassurance, as well as develop friendships and group identity.
Organise regular opportunities for chats and get-togethers, between volunteers and volunteers or staff, at meetings, socials or in the office.
One to one support
Ensure regular contact time for volunteers with a paid worker or member of management team to discuss how things are going, deal with difficult situations or offload.
Arrange regular one to one or group sessions following a structured process with a paid worker or member of management team. An opportunity for both parties to discuss progress, contribute ideas and plan work.
Consider any opportunity to get together are opportunities for support eg annual general meetings, social events, meetings with link groups or organisations, professionals, staff, training events and celebration events.