Volunteers' Week

30 May 2014

This year is the 30th anniversary of Volunteers Week which seemed an ideal opportunity to celebrate some of the achievements within the MYT Volunteer Programme.

Have you ever thought about incorporating volunteers into your workforce? There are many reasons why agencies and businesses consider this option and the initial thoughts are usually prompted by financial reasons. One of the most common misconceptions about volunteers if that they are a free work force, and in fact, nothing could be further from the truth.

The Volunteer Programme at MYT started 4 years ago and has now grown to be such a substantial part of the service that the role of Mentoring & Volunteer Co ordinator was approved as a full time role last summer and I was extremely pleased when my application was successful.

The most important lesson I have learned over the last 4 years is that although volunteers don’t get paid, there is an exchange of currency that makes the relationship beneficial to all. That currency can be for the volunteer to gain skills and experience, meet new people, to gain confidence, to feel a part of the community, to give something back or to make a difference. There are loads of valid reasons to volunteer with each of them being unique to the person, this is the difference in the 21st century volunteer. Understanding what these individual reasons are and ensuring that the role allocated to the volunteer can provide this will increase productivity within your workforce. Volunteers can bring fresh ideas and perspectives, and are often our most honest critics but there has to be sufficient time invested to produce the desired outcomes.

The Volunteer Team at MYT now consists of these roles:

Programme Support, Equality and Diversity Lead, Administrative Support, Area Engagement & Participation Officers, Social Researchers, Quality Researchers and Employability Coaches.

Due to these volunteer roles being incorporated into the staff team, MYT is now a richer and more diverse service that can offer far more to the young people and communities within Medway.

I would like to thank all of the volunteers that have dedicated their time, skills and experience to MYT and I’m looking forward to developing these opportunities even further.

Sue Torrison

Mentoring & Volunteer Co ordinator

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