Many churches rely on volunteers for many areas of church life and ministry. Volunteers often see their work as part of their Christian service and contribution to the church and community. It is important that the church and the volunteers are clear on what they are being asked to do, that they are supported and equipped to contribute and that this service is appreciated and valued.
The following areas need to be carefully considered and put in place:
- Recruitment, screening and selection
- Volunteer roles and responsibilities
- Time required and available
- Induction & Training
- Safeguarding and PVG
- Supporting & Supervising Volunteers
- Insurance and Health & Safety
It is worth looking at these Life Cycles for both a Volunteer and the Organisation to think through the different stages in volunteering. (from Volunteer Scotland)
The 'Volunteer Needs Life Cycle' identifies what a volunteer needs in order to have a good experience
The 'Organisation Needs Life Cycle' outlines what an organisation needs to have in place in order to offer this good experience.
The simple fact is this: we can’t do what we do without volunteers. Whether you need two or 50, you need to be wise in how you recruit them and care for them
- Volunteer Scotland have some useful good practice guides and templates, including how to develop a Volunteer Policy and draft role descriptions
- A flexible set of resources on working with volunteers has been produced by the Church Urban Fund (for the English context). The resources are divided into seven broad categories, each containing a guidance sheet and adaptable samples or templates: clarifying tasks; taking on volunteers; building relationships; encouraging development; formalities ect
- A good practice guide for faith communities & faith inspired projects involved in Volunteering and for Volunteer Centres and Councils for Voluntary Service who work with them- Liverpool Diocese
- Premier Youth and Children’s Work magazine is a wealth of information and resources – useful for both paid workers and volunteers. www.youthandchildrens.work/Current-Issue
- The National Week of Volunteering is the first week of June – this might be a good time to acknowledge the contribution of your volunteers – or find another time.