Laura McGowan is Executive Director at Weight Concern and like many other volunteer managers, volunteer management is only one part of her role.
Weight Concern joined as a member of Volunteer Centre Camden in early 2013, and at the time of this story had attended one volunteering fair so far. They had already recruited one volunteer via the fair and two others through Volunteer Centre Camden’s website (which is linked to volunteering opportunities on the www.do-it.org.uk website).
Laura would recommend volunteering fairs and Volunteer Centre Camden’s services to other organisations looking for volunteers. The three volunteers they recruited through Volunteer Centre Camden were Marketing and General Admin Assistants.
Do they have a volunteer or a team of volunteers that have made a significant difference to their organisation?
Laura said they had a marketing and communication volunteer for five or six months who is ‘invaluable’ as she is skilled and has made a great contribution to Weight Concern overall.
‘She has really helped us get our organisation better known, she has contributed as much as a paid staff member would and her services have been invaluable to our organisation. Involving this volunteer has made us consider the value of volunteers, specifically-skilled volunteers are invaluable, really useful.’
Laura couldn’t think of any improvements to Volunteer Centre Camden’s matching service and said:
‘So far the matching service has been pretty good for us. And successfully recruiting volunteers is down to org writing good, descriptive ads.’
And finally, Sceptics think one person cannot make a difference; how would you respond to that?
‘I think they definitely can, matching a person’s skills to a role is helpful.’
‘Volunteers are essential part of any charity, we couldn’t do without them and been a really good experience for us.’