The Volunteer Support Fund, is worth approximately £1.1million per annum and has supported 127 funded projects. The purpose of the fund was to enable Scotland’s small to medium-sized third sector organisations to recruit additional volunteers who will contribute towards delivering a new volunteering project, or extending/expanding an existing one, and improve how volunteers are supported in their role.
Impact Funding Partners managed this fund on behalf of the Scottish Government, and provided fund management, including providing development support and creating opportunities for organisations to come together to share, learn, collaborate and network through participation at themed cluster groups. The four regional cluster groups provided a platform for funded projects to work on volunteer related issues such as recruitment and retention of volunteers and measuring the impact of volunteering.
How did the Volunteer Support Fund help Arran Eco Savvy ?
Over the funding period we recruited 101 Volunteers:
- 22 for the shop
- 73 for our various CCF Sustainable Island Life (SIL) projects
- 6 Trustees
Volunteer Support Fund fund has enabled us to:
- Greatly increase our capacity to recruit,
- Ensure no barriers to volunteering
- Ensure high standards of volunteer training & support, and further invest in our volunteers; developing skills, knowledge and confidence.
- Organise events, training and social meetings; great for team building.
- Engage our volunteers with Eco Savvy’s aims and objectives.
- Create a happy wee team!
- Think about the The Volunteer Pipeline & Journey
- Work to the Scottish Government’s Volunteering for All National Framework – the vision is of a Scotland where everyone can volunteer, more often, and throughout their lives.
- Regularly update policies & procedures
- Develop volunteer roles through the Shop, Food Share, Volunteer Working Groups, Workshops, Events.
- Invest in staff continuous professional development
- Build positive staff & volunteer relations
- Develop relationships with other VSF charities, sharing knowledge and ideas.
- Maintain and strengthen links with other voluntary organisations across the island.
- Mitigate against social isolation and loneliness
- Provided extra support during the difficult pandemic times.
Financial assistance from the fund has been utilised for:
- Investment in our volunteers, and organisation as a whole.
- Employment of a Volunteer Co-ordinator for 10 hrs/wk
- Travel/subsistence expenses, removing financial barriers to all.
- Staff & volunteer expenditure
- Direct project costs
- Skills sharing workshops
- Day to day running costs
- Purchase of an iPad & iZettle card reader – allowed us to accept card payments, and enabled volunteers to research items online, post items for sale and use social media.
- Outside furniture & a storage bench to provide a lovely break space for our volunteers during the summer months (also used by the whole community, and encourages conversation and connections).
- Purchase wheelchair ramps
- Health & Safety Improvements – changes to main light switches, and installation of emergency lighting.
- Back shop upgrade offering greater levels of Health & Safety, accessibility and comfort).
- Purchase/rental of extra storage solutions.
- Purchase of all the PPE required to protect our volunteers during the pandemic.
Volunteer recruitment was achieved through:
- Generic poster and social media campaigns
- Word of mouth
- AES Newsletters
- ACVS (Arran Community Voluntary Services) newsletters
- Eco Savvy & island events
- Health Professional Referral System
- Personal connections in the shop and wider community.
Volunteer recruitment took place at the following events:
- Whiting Bay Memories
- Food Share evenings
- eBike travel events
- The Big Green Event
- ‘The Storm Bride’ drama evening
- ‘Stay Warm, Stay Well’
- ‘Sustainable Arran: Ideas Generator’
- ACVS Network Gathering
- Condensation & Damp Prevention Event
- Community Travel Map Event
- Arran Water, Energy & You
- Film Events