Recovery Connections is a peer led organisation in Middlesborough. Led by the people and the community it serves, it inspires, motivates, empowers and supports all those affected by substance use to sustain visible, long term recovery and lasting positive change.
Recovery Connections has held Investing in Volunteers since October 2016. BRIC Lead Kayleigh Dunnigan, reflects on their IiV journey and its benefits: "IiV has had a brilliant effect on our organisation as a whole..."
What have been the overall benefits of achieving Investing in Volunteers?
Recovery Connections (formerly known as Hope North East) are passionate and dedicated to each and every volunteer and understand the important role that they play in our service. Each of our volunteers go through a thorough training package and attend regular line supervision and get regular feedback and direction.
Achieving Investing in Volunteers has helped us to show how committed we are to providing an excellent service to each of our volunteers. We have had an increase in volunteers coming through the service and gained great feedback from volunteers such as ‘It’s such a great induction programme, I feel so prepared and already part of the family’.
How would you describe the effects of IiV on your organisation?
IiV has had a brilliant effect on the organisation as a whole. We are busy, organised and pride ourselves on having a thorough, wrap around and extensive offer to new-comers as well as existing members of the volunteer team.
All of the staff, Recovery Ambassadors and Placements are aware of how important the IiV is in relation to supporting our Volunteers. IiV has enabled us to identify any weak spots that we did not have something in place and ensure that something was created and developed to ensure that we had a robust and organized system for any event or situation.
In your opinion, what is the relevance of IiV for your sector?
The IiV is very relevant in this sector as volunteers are at the core of everything that we do and believe in. It is so important to make sure that the correct procedures are in place and that the volunteers feel valued and cared for. We work with a group of people from a wide range of backgrounds and it can sometimes can be extremely tiring, therefore it is important to dedicate and invest a good amount of time to the volunteers and ensuring the correct procedures are in place to support them and other staff working with them.
In addition to this it is important to develop an ongoing strategy and framework, this shows volunteers how valued they are and gives them confidence within the organisation and their roles and they have confidence in the knowledge that the organisation will offer a great experience.
Do you have any advice for other organisations on how to work towards and get the most out of the IiV award?
We found that having regular meetings regarding the volunteers and the policies, procedures, work book helped both the staff and the volunteers to feel like part of the decisions being made.
We have ongoing meetings to review the material, roles etc to ensure that everything is kept current, relevant and everyone is ‘on the same page’. This is a great opportunity to highlight any issues and can collaboratively work to ensure the volunteers needs are kept paramount.