Recommended by others and fantastic support – why people volunteer for Whiteley, and stay

7th June 2021

Making sure our volunteers feel well supported and happy is really important to us at The Whiteley Homes Trust, and so we asked them to tell us about their experience of working with our charity and why they joined – and we’re excited to share their responses!

The survey outcome we were most pleased about was that the majority of our volunteers come to us through word of mouth – often the recommendation of another volunteer or by someone connected to Whiteley. Mim who volunteers in our Clubhouse, joined because her daughter, one of our staff, recommended us. Mim said: “It’s such a brilliant place to volunteer, I absolutely love it! I also feel very proud to be part of the Whiteley team, it’s a great charity.”

We also asked our volunteers what was different about Whiteley and why they stayed. The majority said the communications and support were excellent and that time and effort had been put into their placement to ensure it reflected their skills and interests. Almost everyone that responded (95%) said they felt valued and found the volunteer role they were doing rewarding, and enjoyed the friendly team spirit.

Some of our volunteers consistently support one team, such as Michael who has helped our estates team for an incredible 25 years! Others like the opportunity to move around and try different tasks, such as Katie who volunteers on Reception and recently started in our newly reopened Lantern Café. She said: “As a mum of three teenagers, volunteering has always been part of my family life in some form or another. During lockdown last year I knew I wanted to do something different however – something which took me out of my comfort zone, to meet new people.

“I saw an online advert seeking a volunteer receptionist at Whiteley Village, and I thought `I can do that!` I think I was lucky to find Whiteley Village at the time I did. To volunteer you need to be reliable and committed, however at Whiteley you do have flexibility to try new things and that is what I wanted. I’m now beginning to meet more villagers and when the pandemic is fully over, I’m really looking forward to seeing the Village in its full glory!”

Lilian Meagher, our Volunteer Coordinator said: “We work really hard to make sure our volunteers are supported and happy in what they do. Engagement is vital to ensure we understand their expectations and they know the requirements of the role we are offering before we place them to ensure it’s right for them and somewhere they will enjoy volunteering.

“We believe support needs to be ongoing however and so we offer as much flexibility so people can try new opportunities if they wish to. We want our fantastic volunteers to feel valued, and Volunteers’ Week is a great opportunity to show our appreciation for everything they do for us. As part of our celebration of Volunteers’ Week 2021, we organised an afternoon tea event for all our volunteers and presented everyone that was able to come with a bunch of flowers to say a huge thank you from all of us at the Trust and the Village. Although some couldn’t attend due to half term holidays, it was still a lovely afternoon and people said they really enjoyed meeting each other – some for the first time!”

There are lots of opportunities to volunteer at Whiteley for individuals and groups. If you, or your community group or company would like find out more please visit our Volunteering page or contact Lilian Meagher, Volunteer Coordinator: lillian.meagher@whiteleyvillage.org.uk or call 01932 823671.

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