When a person comes forward to volunteer, organisations take steps to keep the individuals volunteering and the people being supported as safe as possible. This often includes training in preparation for the role. But it can also cover background checks and references, risk assessments, safeguarding training and lots more. It can take time to complete the necessary checks, which sometimes results in losing a suitable volunteer for a role. This can be tough and frustrating for both the organisation and the person wanting to give their time and energy to help others.
This is why Volunteering Matters and our partners are so excited to launch a trial Volunteer Passport scheme in Newcastle!
The Newcastle Passport Scheme will enable the formation of a network of volunteers who are fully recruited, trained, supported and ready to respond quickly and appropriately to the needs of the local community. Taking learnings from the impact of COVID-19, this scheme will trial how a volunteer passport could help organisations and volunteers mobilise much needed more quickly in local areas.
Volunteers will go through a single recruitment and training process, and be able to move easily between organisations signed up to the scheme. Volunteering Matters are the lead organisation for the scheme. Together with our nine partners, we have agreed a number of “baseline” standards for the volunteer recruitment and training processes for the scheme. Volunteers will then be able to access a wide range of roles, run by different organisations, so that they can get involved in their local area more easily.
Volunteering Matters Project Manager Pam Robinson has worked on many types of volunteering projects all over the UK. She’s excited to get started on the scheme: ‘Organisations will benefit massively through the saving of time and resources. Not only this, but volunteers will benefit from the opportunity to volunteer with many different organisations should they choose to, gaining additional skills and experience.’
To find out more about the scheme and how your organisation can get involved within the passport scheme and gain access to a network of trained and DBS checked volunteers, get in touch with Pam Robinson at: