Children's Hospices Across Scotland (CHAS)
In 2019, CHAS launched our new Volunteering Strategy. The strategy was influenced and informed by Volunteering For All: The National Framework which was published the same year.
CHAS was involved in the development of the Framework and as such, the outcomes of our Volunteering Strategy align closely with those of the Framework and the subsequent Volunteering Action Plan.
In line with the first of the Volunteering Action Plan aims, we’re aiming to increase volunteering participation by developing more flexible volunteering roles and working across communities in Scotland. Evidence shows that those who are least likely to volunteer also have the most to gain from volunteering. It’s critical that our volunteer force reflects Scotland’s communities and in particular the diversity of families using CHAS services.
We want to widen access to our volunteering programme by understanding the barriers to participation. Volunteering at CHAS should be accessible to everyone, which means that we need to make it easier for those who face the most barriers to get involved. We’ve already led a review of our recruitment practices and will be making changes to our application and interview processes as well as our website. We’ll be hearing from staff who are involved in volunteer recruitment on good practice and what we can improve on and we’ll encourage volunteers to feedback during the process and beyond.
We listen to volunteers to help us gain intelligence into the volunteer experience at CHAS. We identify themes in our annual Volunteer Survey and Focus Groups, consolidating positive practices and taking steps to improve where needed to deliver a positive experience for volunteers. Volunteers are also involved at all levels of CHAS. Most recently, volunteers have been part of interview panels during senior staff recruitment such as our Director of People and Strategy, our Head of Volunteering and the upcoming interviews for our Chief Operating Officer.
Finally, we’re looking at ways to improve the entire volunteer journey so that we continue to provide great experiences for volunteers. Our annual Volunteer Survey tells us that 95% of CHAS volunteers enjoy their volunteering and 90% feel supported, cared for and included in the teams where they volunteer. Building on these results, our newly developed Volunteer Management Competency Framework will allow us to support and train staff in all areas of volunteer management. Furthermore, we’re reviewing our recognition processes to ensure that CHAS volunteers continue to feel valued and recognised for their contribution.
Much of our work on the CHAS Volunteering Strategy is ongoing. However, we’re committed to learning, iterating and amplifying the volunteer voice so that CHAS continues to be a part of the movement to create a Scotland where everyone can volunteer, more often, and throughout their lives.