The British Tinnitus Association, IiV achiever of 2015, operates in a competitive volunteer environment. Colette Bunker, Volunteering and Support Groups Manager, elaborates on the "invaluable" function of IiV on recruiting, diversifying and growing their groups of volunteers as well as paid staff: "IiV gives us a distinct advantage over other organisations in our area."
Investing in Volunteers (IiV) has been invaluable in recruiting new volunteers. Volunteers have been impressed and reassured that volunteering at the BTA offers high quality and rewarding opportunities due to the IiV accreditation.
The IiV award has helped volunteering to become ingrained in everything we do. The BTA’s Trustees regularly discuss volunteers and include them in their thinking when making strategic decisions. It has also helped staff to see volunteers as a core part of our delivery team. IiV has contributed to diversifying our team, thanks largely to our partnership development, we have hosted volunteers from over 24 countries over the last three years.
Our sector is a competitive place when it comes to volunteers. IiV gives us a distinct advantage over other organisations in our area. The IiV award demonstrates that volunteering is taken seriously at the BTA. It also means we have the resources and support in place to ensure all volunteers have the right tools to do the work and are not out of pocket as a result of time with us.
The IiV award recognised how we wanted to do things differently from others. We know that many volunteers are put off in the selection process so we have avoided a formal application process in favour of meeting anyone who is interested in volunteering with us to talk through what we have available and how they can help us. Because we don’t put lots of selection barriers in place volunteers are quick to go from initial interest into actual volunteering and our induction process means that volunteers are involved from their very first session with us.
"IiV has contributed to diversifying our team"
IiV is useful not only when it comes to recruitment and selection of volunteers, but also aids with retention and good practice in volunteer management. We regularly use our IiV accreditation in funding bids to demonstrate and reassure funders that we have the right policies and processes in place. Since starting the process three years ago our volunteer team has grown and developed and the paid staff supporting volunteers has reflected this rising from one 0.5 fte post to 1.75 fte and we now have as many volunteers as staff.
Volunteers are involved in all aspects of the BTA’s business and have helped move the organisation forward over the last three years. But the award has also helped us to move volunteers on towards positive outcomes. We have a fantastic track record in volunteers progressing into FE/HE or paid employment. The volunteering programme is now expanding further to incorporate volunteering opportunities around the UK.
BTA’s commitment to volunteering is underpinned by the IiV award. We love recognising the contribution that volunteers make. Whether it is remembering a birthday with a card or through our popular recognition events we make sure that volunteers are noticed and thanked. Our IiV plaque continues to hold pride of place in our office and is always a talking point for volunteers joining the organisation.