Recruit – Retain – Motivate. Free Sessions

VST logo

Recruitment – Retention- Motivation – Evaluation…

The online classroom for volunteer coordinators will be underway by the end of March.  Come to a free introduction session to find out more!

For Volunteer Co-ordinators, Volunteer Managers, ANYONE involving volunteers

making a difference.jpg

Come into the live online training room! Meet the trainer, test your headphones, scribble on the whiteboard and have a text chat.    If you’re feeling REALLY adventurous you can try out a mic!
By the end of just half an hour you’ll be able to:

  • Operate the simple tools to interact with other attendees and the trainer in a live online learning situation
  • Share your own skills and experience with others live and online

Full one hour sessions include:

  • Creating Great Task Descriptions for Volunteer Roles
  • Positive Feedback.jpgRecruiting People to Stay
  • Involving the Busy People
  • Volunteers and Employment Law
  • Who Can Volunteer?  Age, Immigration and Welfare Conundrums
  • Creating Inspiring One-Off Volunteer Opportunities
  • Demonstrating the Impact of your Volunteers and your Organisation
  • Time-Saving Tech for Volunteer Coordinators

Choose a free introductory session here

Book full sessions here

Your questions answered here



Yes NCVO! Let’s Be Bold!

This is ‘being bold for volunteering’:  Free resources for volunteer coordinators. Finding out what we need to know.  Fighting for the services that rely on the added value of volunteering.

Stuart Etherington' New Year Letter To the SectorDear Stuart,

Thank you for your New Year letter:  thoughts on the current situation for the voluntary sector.

It’s long!  It took me a while to read it and I had to look up solipsis but here I am with a response!

You say that you – and we – need to ‘be bold for volunteering.’   I see volunteers and coordinators being bold every day; I read your letter several times and really wasn’t clear exactly how NCVO will be being bold in 2017.

…So I have some thoughts to share! Continue reading “Yes NCVO! Let’s Be Bold!”

Community through Volunteering: Waltham Forest

I’m happy to be heading to Community Waltham Forest’s Spring into Volunteering event on 22nd March.  community waltham forest

I’ll be talking through some online training ideas, signposting to resources and hopefully meeting other people (like you?!) who coordinate community action in my area. Continue reading “Community through Volunteering: Waltham Forest”

Spare Time or Spare Rooms

A sprawling monologue in which lots of us do a little bit.

Yesterday I was really anxious and preocupied with work.  I do insist on having ideas (this time it’s interactive online training) and I find following them through quite anxiety-inducing.

Starters-and-Info-768x768Then I got to the Stories and Supper project, where we are planning a supper club that challenges some media narratives on refugees and also supports the refugees themselves. Continue reading “Spare Time or Spare Rooms”

A Freebie for Volunteer Coordinators…

Voluntary Sector Training

Want to try out some live interactive learning on Monday in your lunch hour?

My online interactive classroom opens its doors in a few weeks…! Eeeek! With a course of eight workshops supporting Volunteer Cordinators and Managers.  I’m delivering in partnership with Voluntary Sector Training

If you’re managing, coordinating, involving volunteers – maybe you’re doing it as a volunteer yourself – you won’t have much time for training.  My courses are one hour at a time, and you can join us from anywhere.   Where will you join us from?!

Questions?  These FAQs might help

The Taster Session:  Monday 13th March 1pm

Interested?  Register your interest here…

After the session, I’ll be asking everyone to share the details of the course with volunteer coordinators and managers they know.

If you’re excited about this and interested in the topics we’ll be covering, please book on the course!

I’ve researched many different ways of delivering online, and the most cost effective and easy-to manage seems to be Cisco Webex.  If you’re into bits of software, more info about that here.

…And this guy has actually made a song about good training online – so i’ve obviously been learning from him!

Libby and Maia: Refugee Help with a knock-on effect.

This post appears in Can I Bring Ivy: a blog about volunteering with kids – February 2017.

We helped in Calais again this month.  It’s a lot quieter than it was last time I was there – which was just before the evictions.  They’d rather a few more people!  But there was a small upside to this.  It’s alot easier to volunteer with a young person when it’s not full to the rafters.

I met Libby and Maia.  The whole three days I was there they were beavering away at the ‘dry food’ – bagging up sugar, spices, olives…  it goes to the free shop at the Dunkirk camp, among other places.  I asked if they’d mind a few cheesy pictures and a chat about what they think of it all.

It started as them coming along with an experienced chef and then finding something to do.  Now the dry foods are their expert area, but the first time they came Maia helped out almost everywhere.  clothes sorting, veggie chopping…

Why does Maia like it?  we talked a lot about how nice it is to feel you’re doing something that matters, and getting to the end of it.  Each small task has an end.  And Maia is happy that she can do SOMETHING, as she’s aware of how many people are forced to move and how difficult their conditions are.

Last time they came, they made a load of mini videos – Maia showed them in an assembly at her school.  I’m not sure it was what she intended – she said something like “my teacher just told me “you’re doing an assembly!”  Well, good on that teacher.

Mum Libby:  “I had at least six Mums tell me they want to come and help after that assembly.”

They might not have made it.  They probably didn’t.  But in her school there are also a few refugees – so the chances are some of the kids in her school will now have a litte snapshot of how their lives panned out up til now, and the interactions between everyone might just be a little more empathetic

And just recently, MPs voted 247-1 to maintain our promise to the unaccompanied children in Calais. Some of them have changed their minds since last time and there has been some pretty strong lobbying up and down the country.

This warehouse in Calais isn’t the perfect place to volunteer with a kid.  The woodyard certainly isn’t! But this pair have made it work, and the rewards for everyone are pretty immense.  Other times we’ve involved all ages in making spice bags – no travel required! and there are ways you can make most things work.

Vounteering isn’t just about the task  that you do.  It’s the glitter bomb of things that happen as a result of that one task.  They happen inside… and they happen to others.

I support people coordinating volunteers through advice, project work and training.
Online courses – access from anywhere!

Autumn 2016: Open Courses

feedingbackOpen courses with places in the next few months:

Demonstrating the VALUE of your Volunteers:  13th October

We’ll work out how to gather evidence of all that good stuff you know is happening,  and use it – to celebrate your own achievements, create great funding bids, or build partnerships with others.

Book here – prices from £25

More about the course here


Volunteers and the Law:  WHO can volunteer, and HOW?  16th November

Fully up-to-date, covering relevant employment law and minimum wage legislation,  health and safety, DBS checks and busting a few immigration myths along the way.

Book here – prices from £25

More about the course here

These courses are both in Chelmsford – a train from London, and well connected to Essex and Suffolk.  Please share!

Recruiting Volunteers – Accredited:  7th December

more info soon


FREE Live Online Workshops!

supported by santander

After a useful – (and highly amusing – thanks Tom for the Heavy Metal requests…) first session with attendees from around the UK we are ready for SESSION TWO!

Workshops and networking LIVE on the internet.  Why?!

We’ll explore some of the ways we can create classrooms online, some of the barriers and opportunities, and you will look at the times and places this would work in your projects.

Wednesday 21st October 1.30pm  ONE HOUR ONLY!

Think this is weird?  No idea what I’m on about?  BRILLIANT, please be involved!

I’ve been a teacher and trainer for 15 years and I love watching people take on new information and ideas.   I recently attended an online classroom  about live training on the internet.  It blew me away!  And I realised that in certain circumstances online classrooms are a great way to learn.

Join me to try this out:

Unltd – supporting social entrepreneurs – have a small fund to support networking, and I have a grant to pilot these ideasupported by santanders.



Sign up for everything here.  I’ll send lots more info and give you a call next week.  (IGNORE SESSION ONE QUESTIONS!)

Session 3  will be a group session at the Learning Lodge in Chingford E4 – what was all that about then and how did we find it?!  TWO HOURS.  WITH CAKE.   We will agree this date during session 2, so that it suits those that have signed up.

What I want from you.

Please give me feedback.  Honest conversations about this kind of networking and learning are essential!

What I can offer:

I have many years’ experience of involving volunteers and supporting others, and of standard learning environments, so I hope you’ll get questions answered and a broad knowledge of good practice.

I will also support you fully to access the training – logging in with you in the same location if necessary.  I’m interested in actively involving those who are the most nervous and sceptical about this kind of learning environment!

Hope to ‘see’ you online soon!

Networking and Training: Waltham Forest Autumn 2015

  vawf logo A series of opportunities to learn, share skills and network with other coordinators in North East London this Autumn. Sessions are facilitated by Rebecca Tully, in partnership with Significant Seams and Voluntary Action Waltham Forest.  Booking details below and at the Voluntary Action Website.significant-seams-logo

Involving the Busy People – planning for short term and low-responsibility roles.
Friday 25th September   10am – 12.  Significant  Seams, 131 Wood St, London E17 3LX. FREE

A 2 hr session with Significant Seams and Team London exploring how preparation as organisations can help us harness the skills of people that are willing to help but don’t have much time.  BOOK HERE

Time-Saving Tech for Volunteer Coordinators
Tuesday 29th September  10am-3pm Learning Lodge, Pimp Hall Nature Reserve, Off Kings Road, London E4 7HR
£50 including networking lunchnetworklunch

We’ll look at all the ways you can make your life easier as a co-ordinator with online forms, surveys, email newsletters and social media tips.  Expect practical and hands-on solutions for your job!  BOOK HERE

Planning Great Taster Sessions – getting things done with short term tasks
Thursday 22nd October 10am -12   Voluntary Action Waltham Forest, Waltham Forest Resource Hub (Central), 1 Russell Road, London E10 7ES.  FREE

A 2 hr session with Significant Seams and Team London exploring role creation for introductory tasks that lots of people can be involved in, and that benefit the organisation.  BOOK HERE

Dealing with Difficult Situations with Volunteers
Tuesday 3rd November  10am-2pm Voluntary Action Waltham Forest, Waltham Forest Resource Hub (Central), 1 Russell Road, London E10 7ES

A 3 hr session looking at some of the more challenging situations we come across and how to avoid, or deal with these issues.
£40 including networking lunch  BOOK HERE

Covering our bases…Best Practice Basics

Very engaging and informative… with a positive, inclusive ethos” Natalie, Forest Farm Peace Garden

Volunteer Management has found its way back into the news recently for reasons we’d all rather avoid – no volunteer co-ordinator wants to end up in the High Court proving their volunteer is not an employee, or settling an employment tribunal discrimination case out of court… Whilst these situations are rare, it seems a good time to remind ourselves of the basics of getting involved and keeping people involved, whatever our project and however many of us there are doing it, voluntarily or as a paid co-ordinator.

Motivations Retention and Roles is an interactive and fun half-day session, part of a course of four, for those co-ordinating or supporting volunteers as part of their role. If getting people involved and/or supporting them in their voluntee055ring is what you do – or part of it – this is for you. The session reinforces the basics of best practice in keeping people involved, in particular creating roles that best suit your organisation.

The content includes:

  • Why do people volunteer and what do they bring?
  • Reimbursing volunteer expenses
  • Working out what you want as an organisation
  • Writing killer task descriptions!

By the end of the morning session you will:

  • Understand what motivates volunteers, and how organisations benefit
  • Assess their organisation’s needs and write a task description to fill the need
  • Understand the process of recruiting volunteers and how it relates to volunteer retention
  • Be able to explain appropriate expenses and why reimbursement is necessary

You can browse other course titles here.

To book, just call Happy on 020 7375 7300. Details of the courses are online here but it’s best to call to book. The price of each half day is from £50. I look forward to seeing you there!