2 Thinking about volunteering

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In this section you are asked to consider the start of an individual’s journey into volunteering. This begins with an individual looking for an appropriate place or activity to ‘help out’, participate or get involved with. For an individual to make an informed choice, they need to have a clear sense of what is on offer – or what they as an individual can offer – so this is all about communication.

However, you will only be able to communicate effectively if you have a clear understanding of what your offer is. This means being clear about what you want individuals to do, and asking what individuals would like to do and how they would like to contribute.

From the volunteers’ perspective there are two essential areas that this section will cover:

  • ‘Be ready’ – volunteers say that they want a group or an organisation to have fully considered the involvement of volunteers and to be clear about why volunteers are needed and what they will be asked to do.
  • ‘Is this right for me?’ – volunteers also say that they need the right information to decide if the opportunity is right for them. This is all about sharing and understanding each other’s expectations.

These key areas are explored in more detail in this section.

1.5 What is volunteering?

2.1 ‘Be ready’