Crossroads Care have an excellent track record for recruiting volunteers and this has been growing recently. Since July 2011 we have benefited from the support of over 60 volunteers. Twenty Three volunteers with a range of different skills and backgrounds have supported our busy Hitchin office with an extra six recruited to help our Carers Cafes in Hitchin and Stevenage. The remainder – over 30 – have been specifically recruited for their IT skills and are supporting our Getting Carers Connected project.
People volunteer for a range of different reasons and make a huge difference to the charity. Some are graduates who are seeking employment but are keen to learn new skills and demonstrate positive activity and experience on their CV. Others are recently retired people who are keen to give something back to their local community.
The volunteer workforce support the office team by working on admin tasks such as filing and data input, research and one off projects. This support has enabled us to get our filing and archiving up to date, organise our processes and ensure that our new Care Management System is up to date with important data.
The volunteers are managed by Jo Wilkinson, Executive Assistant and from feedback we know that they all value their time with us and enjoy being part of the Crossroads team. We include the volunteers in team activities, for example they are invited as guests to our Christmas party. Bearing in mind that the volunteers, by nature of their role, do not get paid they are a huge asset to the organisation and have helped us to make significant progress over the past year.
Crossroads are extremely grateful for their dedicated support. We have many success stories where individuals have volunteered for us, learnt new skills, gained confidence and then found employment. We currently have two great examples of volunteers who have successfully been appointed to paid jobs in the Hitchin office.
Ross Bailey who volunteered during the summer of 2011 left in the September and worked in a Call Centre for 15 months. In January 2013 he successfully applied for a role in our Hitchin Office as Client Services Administrator. When asked about his volunteering experience Ross said “Volunteering gave me the chance to stay motivated whilst job seeking and to improve my admin and IT skills. It improved my self esteem as I felt valued by Crossroads staff.”
Whist Stewart McIntosh our Care Coordinator appointed last August said: “I applied for the job at Crossroads after volunteering as I actually felt a sense of pride for where I worked. The clients are fantastic and the Charity really makes a difference to people’s lives and I wanted to be a part of that. I am excited to get trained as a Carer Support Worker as well so I can meet the clients and help out in the home.”
So popular is volunteering with Crossroads Care that there are no vacancies at the moment but if you wish to find out more or register an interest please contact Jo Wilkinson on 01462 455578.