We ♥ Volunteers

ROC loves volunteers. With over 800 volunteers nationwide, ROC values and appreciates the commitment, hard work and time given freely each week. Whether it’s serving at a ROC Café tuck shop or supporting a family as a ROC Community mentor; sharing ROC’s work as a ROC Ambassador or bringing feuding neighbours together in a ROC Restore meeting – you matter to us. ROC’s work of transforming communities could not happen without our dedicated team of volunteers.

Volunteering doesn’t come without its challenges. With family commitments and changing work patterns, finding and keeping project volunteers can be difficult. Offering flexible volunteering opportunities eases the burden, but we can do much more.

ROC Northern Ireland recently hosted an evening on recruiting and retaining volunteers. The advice given was too good not to share, so here are ROC’s Top Ten Tips:

Volunteering is a 2-way relationship – in other words provide support & help to volunteers.

Before recruiting volunteers, ask these questions:
Why do we need volunteers?
What will they do?
What skills & qualities are needed?
How will we find volunteers?
And how many do we need?

Always communicate with potential volunteers – have defined roles, a volunteer description & make sure to tell them the REAL time commitment required.

Be creative in your volunteer recruitment drive – use social media, word of mouth, ask beneficiaries (parents, former members) & advertise on local volunteering agency websites.

Get it right from the beginning – volunteer application form, references, background checks, induction, training and ongoing support.

Involve volunteers in the planning, delivery and evaluation of your project.

Give competent, experienced volunteers new opportunities and responsibilities.

Make tasks and work interesting, meaningful and personally fulfilling in order to boost motivation and performance.

Volunteers have a unique contribution to make to your project and community.

Take time to say thank-you and be creative and thoughtful in giving genuine appreciation for the work done.

It goes without saying that the last point is the most important – it’s the easiest to do, yet can also be the easiest to forget when consumed with the busyness of a project or event. We want to take a moment to say a huge THANK YOU to all our volunteers, we wouldn’t exist without you – YOU (are) ROC!

If you’re reading this and there’s someone you want to say thank you to – be it a volunteer or just someone you’re thankful for then why not take a minute to use one of the image cards we’ve created below and send them a message post or tweet to say thanks.