International Volunteer Manager’s Day – Joanna

Joanna is the Volunteering and Befriending Manager with the Involvement, Experience and Volunteering Team in Nottinghamshire Healthcare. As part of International Volunteer Manager’s Day, she reflects on her role, volunteers and the challenges of 2020.

November 5th is International Volunteer Manager’s Day, and what a difference 12 months has made.  Who would have thought that on the same day we would be entering the first day of Lockdown 2.0 and the whole face of volunteering at Nottinghamshire Healthcare would be altered?

I have always loved my role here, firstly as a Volunteering Coordinator and now as the Volunteering and Befriending Manager.  I truly believe that I have one of the best jobs (unless you count being a Top Gear presenter) and I am happy that since 2005 we now have IVMDay to bring the recognition to us as individual Managers of Volunteers and our roles in the mobilisation and support of the world’s volunteers.

I’ve learnt so much in my 15 years working with volunteers.

When I started 15 years ago I didn’t arrive with the skills and knowledge I have now, I have learnt on the job, from my first inspirational manager and mentor Diane to the wonderful people I have worked alongside both internally at the trust and externally with my role at NAVSM (National Association of Voluntary Service Mangers). Through this vast peer support network, I have been able meet the needs of volunteers, our service users, carers and staff; and even in these strange times we [VSMs] have practised the art of making the impossible, possible.

I know that we change lives – both the lives of volunteers themselves and of those served by well-led volunteers. It is a life-changing profession. We provide the leadership and direction that allows people to enter our trust, having been recruited, trained and supported via a tried and tested method. 

On Volunteer Manager’s Day I want all the wonderful people I work alongside to spend some time and reflect on and celebrate the wonderful work we do.  Let us stand together and educate others about the significant role we play in mobilising this force of people; who without us, without our skills, knowledge, determination and at times sheer bloody mindedness, their time, talents and efforts would be wasted.

Working together to support volunteers.

International Volunteer Manager’s Day is celebrated on the 5th November. It was founded to recognise the role of Volunteer Managers in their mobilisation and support of the worlds volunteers.

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