Volunteer Managers or Volunteer Coordinators have a very significant role in directing and supporting volunteers in hospices and involved in palliative care and therefore in providing support for the service as a whole. The time given by volunteers is free however significant resources are required to provide effective and adequate support to volunteers.
The role of a volunteer manager or coordinator is wide ranging and demanding, they are responsible for the:
- Recruitment of hospice volunteers
- Orientation and training of hospice volunteers
- Matching Hospice volunteers to appropriate roles
- Liaising with other hospice staff in the overall running of the volunteer programme
- Performance review and ongoing development of volunteers
- Ensuring volunteer recognition
- Handling grievances and complaints
- Policy development and Strategic Planning for future development of volunteer programme
There are a number of freely available resources which might support and inform volunteer managers.
Republic of Ireland
- Dublin Volunteer Managers Network aims to provide peer support and opportunities for up-skilling for people in the non-profit sector who coordinate volunteers; to help them build and maintain high quality volunteer programmes.
- Association of Voluntary Services Managers (AVSM) was created to support Voluntary Services Managers in Palliative Care across the UK.
- Association of Volunteer Managers (AVM) is an independent membership body that aims to support, represent and champion people in volunteer management in England regardless of field, discipline or sector.
- IVO.org is a social network site dedicated to volunteering and volunteer management.
- UKVPMs is a participative networking and communication resource for all volunteer managers working in the United Kingdom.
- OzVPM is a specialised resource website focusing on volunteerism throughout Australia and New Zealand
- CyberVPM is the international discussion group for volunteer managers
- Volunteering: Vital to our Future. How to make the most of volunteering in Hospice and Palliative Care (2014). Together for Short Lives and Hospice UK, have designed this resource to support organisations in the hospice and palliative care sector to develop their work with volunteers
- Volunteers contributing to a palliative approach in aged care: A toolkit(2005) was developed by Palliative Care Western Australia
- Palliative Care Volunteering Strategy 2013-2016 was developed by Palliative Care Victoria and aims to foster, promote and influence good practice in palliative care volunteerism and expand the capacity of palliative care volunteer programs to address gaps in service and increase access to palliative care volunteers in Victoria, Australia.
- Palliative Care Volunteer Engagement Standards (Volunteering Victoria) (2006)
- National Standards for involving volunteers in not-for-profit organisations (Volunteering Australia) (2001)
- http://volunteerhub.com.au/ Palliative Care NSW has developed a Volunteer Support Services Program. The program aims to increase the capacity of palliative care volunteer services, and to raise public awareness about their work.
- Canadian Virtual Hospice has collected information and support resources for Volunteer Managers.
- The role of the hospice volunteer in community settings report was produced as part of the Northern Ireland Assembly Knowledge Exchange Seminar Series and it draws conclusions that hospice at home volunteers can help improve the quality and access to care and can support care and death in the person’s own home and can provide a link between the hospice and the community.
EAPC Taskforce on Volunteering
The European Association for Palliative Care set up a Taskforce on Volunteering to explore the role of volunteers in hospice and palliative care in Europe, the different approaches to management and training and any barriers to their involvement in care. A Charter on Hospice and Palliative Care will be developed.
Palliative Care Volunteer Standards, Victoria, Australia
In 2006, Volunteering Victoria published the Palliative Care Volunteer Engagement Standards which are designed to support and promote volunteer engagement and delivery of an effective palliative care volunteer programme.
Volunteering in general
www.volunteer.ie – Volunteer Ireland is the national volunteer development agency in the Republic of Ireland. Which helps to link volunteers with organisations seeking volunteers. Support is also made available through training, consultancy, a range of online guides and resources. Volunteer Ireland also develops and supports best practice in volunteering.
www.volunteernow.co.uk – Volunteer Now is the lead organisation in Northern Ireland which works to promote, develop and support volunteering. They help to link volunteers with organisations seeking volunteers and provide information and support on volunteer management and safeguarding vulnerable groups.