Volunteer Co-Ordinators Newsletter & Updates

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The Volunteer Co-Ordinators group is a peer network of volunteer co-ordinators and managers from around Southampton.

Events & Training

Events & training from SVS that you might be interested in and dates for the diary:

Focus Group Meeting on the Consultation on the Bitterne Walk In Centre Closure - 20th August

Awards for All Funding Workshop for BAME Community Groups - 6th October


Date for the diary - 30th September - Southampton Voluntary Services Conference "Promoting Quality in Voluntary Action" Details to be released soon.


What's going on online?

I think sometimes we can forget that trustees are volunteers too. With all the press recently surrounding Kids Company it's hard to avoid mentioning it. Here the NCVO look at Trustee Responsibilities.

Rob Jackson from the Third Sector talks about if we value our volunteers how do we report on them to senior management. Are all measurements good measurements? It seems not, but what other KPI's can we report on?

Although I strongly believe that the internet cannot be our sole source of new volunteering, it is an undeniable force. Rob Jackson (again) talks on Better Impact how we should approach our online adds like dating websites when it comes to volunteer recruitment.

The power of gratitude? How does our approach to volunteers keep them happy and engaged. This American blog looks at the power of being grateful and how this can promote a positive environment for our volunteers. There's also a link to an online quiz to see how grateful you are.

A Request from XIM Ltd

We've been contacted by an organisation looking for volunteers over the age of 60. As it this isn't our usual volunteering activity we are putting the information out to groups rather than the public regarding a company who are looking for testers in the Southampton are:

XIM Ltd is a creative software business specializing in advanced user interfaces and eHealth.

 We're looking for 4 - 6 testers aged over 60 who are interested in volunteering and are experienced enough with a smart phone to use basic ‘apps'. 


Each volunteer would be asked to join us for approximately 45 minutes, in exchange for a £20 M&S voucher to test an application we are developing. The testing would take place at our Southampton Science park offices (full address below) and travel costs will be reimbursed.

Anybody who is interested should contact Gina:, more information can be found on their website:



I hope you're all keeping out of the rain today! What a lovely August we're having...

Firstly, we have our Volunteer Coordinators Group coming up at 10am on Tuesday 8th September. Please can you confirm if you are able to attend by clicking on the below link:

We'll be covering our introductions, some updates from SVS about what's going on with volunteering and our plans for the next 6 months - including important updates on the Do-It website. We'll also being doing an information/training session on DBS checks (following new information from the Disclosure and Barring Service).

If there is an area that you would like a session done on during the Volunteer Coordinators meeting - or you would like to discuss with others please let me know and we can include it in future sessions.

Unfortunately we were unable to hold our Volunteer Certificate Scheme in June, however, we are re-opening nominations for your volunteers for our Celebration Event on 27th October 2015. This is a great opportunity to not only show that you appreciate the time they give, but also that the city want to celebrate and thank them. Full details will be available on the website from Monday (17th August) however I've put below links to everything just in case you want a head start in your nominations. To those who nominated for June don't worry I'll be contacting you all shortly to confirm that you're happy to go ahead with your previous nominations.

  1. Index
  2. Information and Background
  3. Criteria
  4. Organisation Check List
  5. Registration Form
  6. Nomination Form
  7. Model Role Description
  8. Model References
  9. Personal Profile Hints
  10. Common Questions and Answers
  11. SVS Registration Form


Volunteering & Benefits

You may know that Universal Credit has been rolled out in Southampton. A small group have started to receive it and this will be increased over the next 2 years. The SVS website has a briefing produced by the NCVO which covers how Universal Credit and Volunteering works. If you are unsure you can read it here.

Following some queries that we have had recently, I would like to confirm that volunteering is not something that an individual can be forced to do in threat of sanction. SVS has signed up to the Keep Volunteering Voluntary Agreement, which you can sign up for too. We have great links with the Job Centre - volunteering is a great step back into employment. So if anybody contacts you to advise that they have been forced to contact you under threat of sanction:

  • Determine who told them this information? (Job Centre, People Plus etc)
  • Have they been given written confirmation of this? Anecdotal information is harder to act on - could it have been a misunderstanding?
  • Reassure them that this is not the case.
  • Ask them to contact SVS - we can reassure them, act on any incorrect information that has been provided and discuss their options with them.
As I mentioned, SVS does have a good relationship with the Job Centre, and any previous cases of this happening, they have acted quickly and fairly. But some things to remember: 
  •  You don't have to take on the person as a volunteer if they don't want to be there - perhaps refer them to us and we can look at alternative volunteering placements.
  • If they ask for something in writing for the Job Centre, or for you to contact the Job Centre you don't have to do this. Refer them to SVS and I will happily discuss with them.
  • For job seeking volunteers always remind them to keep a record of their hours, and any expenses claimed as their work advisor can ask to see these at any time.
  • Read the briefing from the NCVO regarding volunteering hours, or keep it in a safe place to refer to at a later date if you need to.
As always, any questions, concerns or queries, please don't hesitate to contact me.

Communications Audit

When we're looking at recruiting volunteers are we being consistent with our organisations message and tone? Is the opportunity advertised in the right way?


Before you go on a new recruitment drive it's important to make sure that we have everything in place from resources to time to information. I hope to look at in more detail setting your organisation up before taking on new volunteers. But as a start its worth looking at your materials for attracting volunteers - when looking to do a Communications Audit it's worth considering the following things:
  • What do your recruitment materials "feel" like? Be critical on both digital and hard copies.
  • What do they say about volunteering with your organisation?
  • Is the message consistent across all of your media? Are you putting across a unified, professional and consistent personality?
  • Are they relevant and meaningful to your target audience - could you tweak them for different audiences. A volunteer who has retired may have different goals than someone looking to get back into work.
  • Do they clearly (and consistently) state the steps they need to take to apply? What is their call to action and how long should they wait to hear?
  • What channels are you using to promote? Are they multi-channel?
And remember, if you ever need any help or advice about your recruitment you can always contact me - 02380 216 020 or

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