Volunteers’ Week: What volunteering with Independent Age is like
For Volunteers’ Week 2022, we thought it would be the perfect opportunity to introduce Independent Age’s Volunteering Team.
What do our Independent Age volunteers do?
The way that volunteers are involved in Independent Age ranges within our teams, and their impact is felt within every team.
Our Lived Experience Advisory Panel (LEAP) volunteers work with our colleagues from Policy and Influencing to shape the way that we influence decision makers about the most important parts of older people’s lives.
Our community volunteers connect with older people with similar interests and experiences to take part in activities in their local communities.
Volunteers on the Readers Panel help to ensure that the products we distribute, such as guides and leaflets, are clear and easy to read. Our Readers Panel provide insight and opinions that help to shape our products.
What is our future vision for volunteering at Independent Age?
We are working hard to enable volunteers to have the opportunity to be involved in all that we do. At the moment, we are developing roles for people to raise awareness, help people complete forms and exploring opportunities within our office. We are looking at ways to ensure that volunteers can both share their expertise, skills and experience as well as get involved in areas of work which will support them to gain new skills and experiences
All of our opportunities will be developed and promoted in ways that enable people from different backgrounds, including those experiencing inequalities to contribute meaningfully to our work. Volunteers will be a driving force for positive change in their communities and play a key role in supporting people to build connections. We will work hard to ensure that we have volunteer opportunities available for people wherever the live. We will do all we can to ensure that volunteers feel part of IA and that they feel appreciated for the invaluable part they play.
What are the benefits of volunteering and why are volunteers so important to Independent Age?
Volunteering gives you the opportunity to utilise your existing skills, knowledge and experiences, while also providing the opportunity to learn and develop new ones.
You can help to support your local community as you make a meaningful difference in the lives of older people. It can also be an opportunity to make new friends as you will meet many new people through your work.
Volunteering can also help you to gain confidence as you try something new and feel a sense of achievement as you make progress.
For Independent Age, volunteers play an essential role in increasing our impact in the work we do. We currently have 1,300 active volunteers in a range of different roles across the charity. They bring new skills, experience, passion and expertise to our work. By working in collaboration with our employees, we achieve so much more as an organisation.
Why do we enjoy working with volunteers?
It’s always interesting to hear people talk about what has motivated them to volunteer at the start of their volunteering journey. Some people may relate it to something personal, perhaps an experience with a family member that inspires them to help others. Others may be new to the community they live in and want to make a difference by connecting with people in their community. It really ranges, and it’s always great to hear about what motivates people to get involved.
There are so many amazing memories that celebrate our volunteers. It’s been so exciting to see volunteers and older people get involved in their communities again. At times this may be daunting for both individuals, and we’ve all felt hesitation in getting back out and involved in activities outside of the home, but we’ve heard brilliant stories from individuals on how they have reconnected with their communities, like Dennis and Alan at the end of last year.
Our newest additions, Sophia and John joined at the end of March and are still learning about our work. Sophia took this opportunity to chat with the team about IA’s brilliant volunteers and the work that we do. Meet the team…
Hi everyone, I’m Kelly, Head of Volunteer Transformation. I have overall responsibility for the Volunteering team, making sure that Independent Age reaches its potential of involving volunteers in a range of ways which enables us to achieve our strategic aims and ambitions. I have worked in the charity sector for the last 14 years specialising in volunteer involvement, management and best practice. I am passionate about the role that volunteers play in organisations like ours but also the amazing contributions that volunteers make within communities all over the world — it’s hard not to feel continuously inspired by the work that volunteers do.
My name is Becky and I’m the Volunteering Development Manager at Independent Age. I’m responsible for recruiting new volunteers at Independent Age and preparing them for their roles, as well as helping volunteers feel connected to the work of our charity. I do this alongside the Volunteering Recruitment Assistants and Volunteering Engagement Assistant. I have worked in the charity sector for 7 years and have seen first-hand the amazing contributions of volunteers. Without volunteers, the sector would not have anywhere near as much impact or reach.
Hello! My name is Louise and I am the Volunteering Development Business Partner. I have been working in the charity sector and specifically with volunteers for many years. My role is to offer advice and support to staff across Independent Age who work with volunteers, to ensure that volunteers get the most out of their roles and are helping us to deliver our vision in the most effective way. I’ll also look at different and new ways that we can involve volunteers within all area of our work. I am really passionate about the benefits of volunteering, not only to the organisation but also for volunteers themselves.
I joined Independent Age in April 2021. My role in volunteer recruitment involves supporting new volunteers through their onboarding experience, providing training and ensuring that all of our brilliant volunteers are ready for their role. As a volunteer myself, I understand how important it is that we provide the best possible service during our onboarding, to not only allow the volunteers to flourish and get the most out of their experience with us, but also for us to achieve the change we hope to see in the quality of life of older people. I am excited to be within an organisation of change makers, big and small.
My name is John and I have been working as a Volunteer Recruitment Assistant within the Volunteering team at Independent Age for over 2 months. My role is primarily focused on getting individuals ready to become volunteers at Independent Age by providing them with an excellent onboarding experience. An aspect of my job that I really enjoy is speaking to potential volunteers and understanding the reasons behind why they want to become an Independent Age volunteer.
I’m Sophia, I’m new to team having started as Volunteer Engagement Assistant just over 2 months ago alongside John. This is my first role in the charity sector but I’m really enjoying it so far and am excited to see how my role develops. I’m responsible for ensuring volunteers receive the relevant updates and guidance and creating a sense of engagement. I’m enjoying learning more about the impact our volunteers have and seeing how volunteering shapes the work we do as an organisation.