It’s June, so as well as uninterrupted sunshine, barbecues and reunions with loved ones as lockdown is lifted, it also means it’s Volunteer Week. This year, more than ever, we need to celebrate these everyday heroes, who have selflessly given their time over to helping the world to push through the Covid-19 crisis. Whether it was picking up prescriptions, doing their neighbour’s shopping, or standing around in all weathers directing people to their vaccinations, they all deserve our unreserved thanks and respect. Thank you, volunteers.
As you would expect, at Community360, we work with and for volunteers more than most. You might be wondering how training fits into all this, as it’s not immediately obvious. Mainly, we provide training for others who work with volunteers. In fact, we created a whole qualification on it – it’s true! Back before we were C360 Training, we were VST, and VST wrote the qualification, Volunteer Management, which is accredited by Gateway Qualifications, and we still deliver this on a regular basis today. We tend to put it out on our Open Programme, but more frequently, we deliver the qualification to clients, such as British Transport Police, as an in-house option.
Working with British Transport Police (BTP) has been a fantastic experience. BTP has a large volunteer base working the length and breadth of the country. Volunteers work with them in a variety of roles, from special constables and station assistants to volunteer role players helping to train up search dogs, so it’s important to BTP that their volunteer coordinators are well-trained.
Working closely with Lee from BTP and our trainer Robin, we put together a great tailored programme to deliver the Volunteer Management qualification. The training was redesigned to be delivered online and made more relevant to BTP, and we ran it in the evening with options for flexible attendance so that the training was as accessible as possible. Because the training was delivered online, delegates were able to attend from all over the country – from the top of Scotland to the depths of Cornwall – and it was wonderful to bring everyone together and for them to learn from each other’s experiences.
We’ve now delivered BTP’s programme twice. It’s been well-received by delegates and we’re always working together to think up new solutions to BTP’s training needs – our latest idea is for a course on inclusive and diverse volunteer recruitment. Watch this space.
Back in January, I was invited to attend BTP’s online awards evening to celebrate their volunteers and to watch them receive their Volunteer Management qualifications. It was wonderful to be part of such a lovely night. It was a shame it had to be done online but I got dressed up anyway, even if I was only sat on the sofa. Maybe next year we can do it in real life. This year, as we move slowly back to normality, Community360’s celebration of Volunteer Week has been combined with our Community Connect 2021 event. There’ll be lots to look forward to, both online and face-to-face, and maybe, just maybe, we can all have a little bit of well-deserved fun!
Tina Bullen, C360 Training Manager
To find out more about our in-house training, email email@example.com.