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International Volunteer Managers Day

To celebrate International Volunteer Managers Day we sat down with Janice Reilley, the Support Services Administrator.

What do you enjoy about working with volunteers?

I enjoy chatting and getting to know our volunteers, spending time with them, hearing about their lives, why they volunteer and what brings them to CHAS. I have a good relationship with each of our volunteers. I enjoy working alongside them, finding out what their skills and knowledge are and how we can utilise these in their role. They all bring something different to the job.

How would you describe your volunteer management style?

I adapt my management style to suit each of our volunteers. They are all very individual with different skills, personalities and reasons for volunteering. In general, it is a participative style – I think our receptionist appreciate the fact that we value their ideas and input. We work together as a team to ensure the reception runs smoothly and efficiently.

I also welcome support and guidance from other managers and team members to ensure our volunteers time at Rachel House is enjoyable and fulfilling. We want them to share their experience with friends, family and communities, which will then hopefully encourage others to volunteer with us.

What is something you have learned through managing volunteers?

Giving people your time is so very rewarding. I have also learned the numerous benefits of having volunteers, how important and necessary they are to CHAS and that they play a huge part in helping us to keep the joy alive. Our reception volunteers play such an important role – they are the first people our children, families and visitors meet when they arrive at Rachel House. They have excellent skills and deal with a variety of different, often difficult, situations. Each of our volunteers are so kind, welcoming and friendly.

What do you think makes a good volunteer manager?

Ensuring my volunteers feel valued, appreciated and part of our team. I want our volunteers to benefit from volunteering with us and encourage them to participate in activities, ensure they are aware of our funded training courses as well as in house training opportunities.

I provide support to our volunteers through our chats, meetings and by encouraging them to use workplace to keep up to date with what is going on. I welcome their feedback and opinions and we work together as a team. I want their experience at Rachel House to be fun and enjoyable.

How did it feel when you first started managing volunteers compared to now?

This is my first experience managing volunteers and I really didn’t know what to expect. When I first started working at Rachel House, our reception volunteers made me feel welcome, helped me learn the role and gave me a lot of support. Now I feel confident in this role, I have built up good relationships with each of them, I understand how they work and what they expect to gain from volunteering with CHAS. I do my best to meet their needs and expectations, continue to offer them support and make sure they are happy when they are volunteering with us. I now appreciate the huge difference that our reception volunteers make to the day to day running of Rachel House. I understand more about the benefits of volunteering, why we need volunteers and why people want to volunteer.

Interested in volunteering with us? Check out all the volunteering opportunities and the online application form here

If you want to talk to someone about your own situation or find out more about our services, please get in touch: