Material it might be useful for SR officers to know about – volunteers

I’ve worked on this jointly with the CUF volunteer Co-ordinator, and it aims to be user-friendly and relevant in church-based projects CUF supports, as well as churches and for lay ministries.  It draws on experiences of good (and not so good) practice that both of us have encountered over the years and has run the gauntlet of NCVO and several compliance officers. 

The information is now available on the CUF website via NB: there is no search facility on the CUF website at present (!) so it will help to note the URL. In addition, the landing page seems very browser-sensitive: it doesn’t particularly like Internet Explorer. The guidance sheets are designed separately, and have survived the limitations of the host site!

I’ve copied a bit on the background to this below.

Many of us have encountered people in churches who take umbrage at phrases like Volunteer management.  Some have expressed dislike of implied bureaucracy, along with an uneasiness that volunteering might be thought of in terms of a system people have to fit into, rather than focusing on the people who volunteer in terms of the gifts / discipleship / service  that  is often  offered, expressed and grown through volunteering  activities.
This can result in a situation akin to throwing out baby with bathwater:  A laissez-faire approach may overlook some valuable elements of  good practice that can help  individuals who  volunteer to develop as disciples as will as enabling  the  mission of the church to flourish.  This new resource aims to enable good practice to flourish within the Christian ethos of churches and church based projects, where all are part of the same body.  It also aims to recognise the wide range of formality / informality of activities that people become involved in on a voluntary basis so there are ideas relevant to formal voluntary roles (ongoing lay ministries / regular projects) right through to situations involving the very informal help that is often offered in churches – probably without people thinking of it as volunteering at all.

Working well with Volunteers gives access to a range of guidance sheets (e.g. Encouraging Development, Building Relationships, Managing Formalities. Agreeing Principles). These sheets can be freely downloaded and printed off and there are also some templates that could be adapted for more formal volunteering contexts.

Joanna Cox

National Adviser in Adult Education and Lay Development

Education Division, Church House, Great Smith Street, LONDON,  SW1P 3AZ

Tel: 020 7898 1511