5 Building on success

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This section explores how listening to volunteers is a vital part of ensuring a positive volunteering experience and offers an opportunity to improve service delivery as volunteers are often the welcoming face of a group or an organisation. Inviting volunteers to contribute to improving service delivery and the volunteer experience reinforces that their contribution is valued. Providing opportunities to grow and develop in a role is also important to ensure volunteers continue to have an enjoyable experience, although not all volunteers will want to ‘progress’.

At some point volunteers will want to ‘move on’, perhaps to a different role within a group or an organisation or perhaps to somewhere new. You also need to support volunteers when they choose to move on and plan for this. Everyone’s circumstances can change and it’s important to celebrate the time someone has given, rather than make them feel bad for needing to leave or to take a break from volunteering.

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

  • ‘Enjoy it, love it, be happy!’ – volunteers say that they want their volunteering experience to meet their expectations. This might be opportunities to develop (in the role or into a new role), to have their views taken on board and to contribute more to the group or organisation, or continue to be supported in their role so they don’t ‘burn out’.
  • ‘Don’t make me feel guilty, let me go!’ – volunteers also say that they want to have a positive ending to their volunteering, where they are encouraged to progress personally even if this is on to new things.

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

4.4 Further resources

5.1 ‘Enjoy it, love it, be happy!’