We develop friendly informal relationships with our volunteers and try to create an inclusive volunteering environment. This makes it easier for us to communicate to our volunteers that without their support the garden centre wouldn’t run
The best ways to keep in touch with your volunteers
Keep in mind the reasons why someone volunteers. You can find out more about these in Understand the needs of your volunteers.
Some people prefer more communication than others. By setting up a way to communicate with them all at the same time means they can dip in and out as much as they want.
The best thing to do is ask people how they’d like you to communicate with them.
create a chat group on WhatsApp, Facebook messenger or through another social media channel. This won’t work for everyone, so you’ll need a way of contacting those who aren’t comfortable with this
create an email list
meet face to face
Keep the messages informative, positive and motivational.
We produce a quarterly newsletter which goes out to all the parents and on the school’s website and Facebook page. We also use the school’s text message system to communicate key dates, and each class has WhatsApp groups which we have access to
What information volunteers need
Make sure your volunteers know:
what they’ll be doing
where they need to be and when
what they need to bring and wear
what you’ll provide. For example: equipment, food and drink
Do this well in advance of your activity.
Don’t give volunteers too much information on their first day. This can really put them off returning
Get your volunteers together
People don’t have much time, but giving your volunteers the chance to get to know each other before the activity could:
give them more confidence
give them the opportunity to ask questions
help them feel part of the team
help create a rapport between your volunteers
give you the opportunity to go through the timings of the day and share out tasks
give you the chance to hand out any t shirts or equipment that’s needed
Say thank you to your volunteers
Both on the day and after the activity it’s important that your volunteers feel valued.
This can be done by:
saying thank you on the day
a thank you card
a final get together
an invitation to future activities
Something as simple as a drink can be a way to say thank you. Often volunteers are very busy and find it hard to eat and drink between work and volunteering. We try to support volunteers by treating them to a team meal
Share your story
Do you have a story about how your community has come together to support each other?
We'd love to share your story on our website to encourage other people to get or offer support.