ChildLine School Services Volunteer Kirsty Essery (middle) and Area Co-ordinator Tony Brown receives the Volunteer Friendly Award from Susan Swan, Volunteer Centre Borders’ Executive Officer.
The ChildLine Schools Service has become the second service in the Borders to receive a Volunteer Friendly Award, in recognition of its success in training, motivating and supporting its invaluable team of volunteers.
Pupils from P6 and P7 watched excitedly as some of the ChildLine Schools Service volunteers who have been helping them understand issues such as abuse and bullying received the Award at St Peter’s Primary School in Galashiels this week. The ChildLine Schools Service programme consists of assembly-style presentations by volunteers to the whole-year group, followed by workshops in individual classes.
Tony Brown, Area Co-ordinator for ChildLine Schools Service, said, “We rely on volunteers to deliver the service in school and help P6 and P7 children learn how to protect themselves from abuse and bullying. This Volunteer Friendly Award means a huge amount to us as it shows that we are giving our volunteers the recognition and treatment they deserve.”
ChildLine won the accolade after convincing assessors from Volunteer Centre Borders that it follows best practice towards its volunteers, and producing a folder of material evidence to back this up. Award winners must demonstrate that they manage their volunteers properly, treat them fairly, train and support them, offer them the opportunity for personal development and celebrate their contributions to the organisation.
The first organisation to win a Volunteer Friendly Award in the Borders was Citizens Advice Bureau Peebles in December 2012.
With the voluntary sector growing daily, management of volunteers is a subject increasingly on the agenda, and there is a growing need for standards in volunteering to be of the highest level.
Susan Swan, VCB’s Executive Officer, said, “There are lots of benefits to having a Volunteer Friendly Award. Managers will have better motivated volunteers, who will, in turn, have confidence that they are being looked after well. Volunteers can be sure that they are joining a group that will value and protect their interests. And having a Volunteer Friendly Award shows funding bodies that good practices are in place.
“ChildLine Schools Service submitted an excellent portfolio which covered all aspects of good volunteer management. VCB assessors felt that the evidence showed that volunteers could feel confident about volunteering there and would be well supported, protected and valued.”