VOLUNTEER INTRODUCTION TIPS FOR WARD CHAMPIONS

When a Ward Champion receives the names of the new volunteers in their ward, they need to contact them to bring them onboard.

The below tips have been prepared by one of our Ward Champions to share her experience with the rest of the team, including new Ward Champions, who might find this helpful.  These notes include contributions from other members of the team and will be updated regularly.  There are merely some proposed ideas, but please feel free to implement whatever works for you:

How a Ward Champion manages their ward and group of volunteers is entirely up to them - what works for some, might not work for others.


This is all simply just a process I've followed. May not work for everyone but feel free to use, change, discuss.

I send an email (bcc) to all the email addresses on the list of new volunteers.  Below is a template for the text of the email.

For the volunteers who don't reply to this email, a personal follow-up email could be sent subsequently as the initial email might have gone into their spam inbox.  Also, a phone call to the volunteer whom you have a number for could be useful.

There will be some volunteers who haven't replied to emails and that we don't have phone numbers for. Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to request their tel numbers.

If the volunteer sends a text back, I reply with:

Thank you so much for your message, and for volunteering. I’ll give you a call shortly to go through a few details and answer any questions you have after my email.

I've found this prompts them to read the info, saves me explaining things repeatedly.

I then call them, introduce myself and answer their questions.

At this point I add them to Telegram group chat.

Any jobs that come through I post on there simply stating type of job and road name

For example: "prescription to collect at [name of pharmacy] to be delivered to [name of the road]. Any one free?"

I then wait for a response and send the screen shot of the job details to the volunteer.  This include the job ID number, which appears near the end of the text.

Once the task is completed, you could have a call with both the volunteer and the resident to receive feedback and find out if there were any issues that need to be addressed in the future.

I keep things simple, and it seems to work. Hope this helps.

Needless to say, always remember to say thank you for whatever jobs the volunteers do, and how they are making a huge difference to our community. We all are!


Proposed text of the email - please feel free to change as it suits you

Good morning and welcome to Darlington Coronavirus Support!
Thank you very much for signing up to volunteer with us and for going through the vetting process with our Council colleagues.
My name is [name of ward champion], and I'm the area co-ordinator for [ward name], and I'm very happy to have you on board to help those in the town that need extra support during these very difficult times.
We already have established volunteers up and running and you're joining a great team of people, who will all support you as you work to support others.
With regards next steps, I'll be touch with you shortly to get you added to the group chats which I use to allocate assignments, and communicate with the whole team.
In preparation for this, the app we use is called Telegram, if you are able to download this that would be great please.
The Council have provided this email address for you, but have not shared any other information at this point, my mobile number is [tel number of ward champion] if you'd be happy to text me so I am able to update your contact details and I'll send you the group chat.
I've also included links to the website at the bottom of the email including a resource page. This has useful info on processes you will need to familiarise yourself with, including taking payments.
The Support Form is there should you wish to share this on your social media for anyone you may know who needs help and support from the team.
If you have any questions please get in touch and I'll endeavour to help in any way I can.
Kind Regards

[name of ward champion]
[tel number of ward champion]

Resources
https://darlingtonsupport.uk/index.php/resources

Support Form
https://darlingtonsupport.uk/index.php/requestsupport


Call with the volunteer

This is the most important part I feel because this is where you start to build the rapport with the volunteer.

I normally spend at least 10-15 mins chatting. I usually ask them what has made them volunteer, find out a bit about them without it sounding like an interview. Tell them about me. Give info about the ward, how many volunteers we've got. Typical volunteer jobs. Just a general overview. Each time I've done this, by the time I've got the end of the call, everything is on really friendly terms.

It's important, because quite a few of my volunteers I've not met in person yet.

They also like a bit of reassurance that I will give them help and support right the way through and also to give me a call anytime if they have a question or a concern.


Telegram

Each Ward Champion has a Telegram group chat for their own ward. If you have not been added to your ward's Telegram group chat, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to let us know.

Once you have the phone number of the volunteer, you could invite them to download the Telegram App by clicking on "Contacts" in the Telegram App and then selecting "Invite Friends". Alternatively, they could click on this link to download Telegram: https://telegram.org/dl

Once they have downloaded Telegram, you could go to the Telegram Group chat, click on the top to see the list of members and then select "Add Members".  This also gives you the option to "Invite to Group via Link", which provides a link that you could send directly to the volunteer.

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