The Volunteer Friendly Award is a user-friendly quality standard designed to support and reward groups who are good at involving volunteers.
Many essential services in Scotland’s communities are enhanced by volunteers. Volunteering also has a significant social value as it is increasingly being used to give excluded individuals the chance to build their confidence and skills through helping others.
It has never been more important for groups to be able to show how good they are at involving and managing their volunteers. Volunteer Friendly helps you to take a systematic look at what you do and how you do it. It offers a flexible approach which allows your group to work at its own pace, with full support from the Volunteer Centre Aberdeenshire.
Volunteer Friendly is about recognising that groups are good at working with volunteers. It’s about supporting organisations to expand on what they do well and develop best practice. And it’s about rewarding organisations for all their hard work with volunteers.
After being introduced to the Volunteer Friendly Checklist and toolkit by the VCA, each organisation will work through the programme at its own pace. Some organisations may complete the programme within three months; others will require a bit more time.
Each organisation needs to work through the checklist, looking at what it does in relation to volunteers and the way it does it. The checklist has five strands and sets tasks focused on a particular area: the organisation has to provide evidence that shows how it works with volunteers. The evidence could be a policy or an example of a form or even a photo - whatever is appropriate for the group.
A Toolkit provides guidance as well as examples and templates, to help groups who want to improve their procedures or fill in any gaps. The evidence can be collected in a paper version or in an e-portfolio.
Once the evidence is complete and has been verified by the Volunteer Centre, the organisation is granted the Volunteer Friendly Award.