Volunteering made even easier with launch of pilot phase of Volunteer Passport
An exciting journey is about to start for volunteers and voluntary organisations in Norfolk with the launch of the pilot phase of the Volunteer Passport for Norfolk.
The Norfolk Volunteer Passport will support volunteers, the voluntary sector and statutory partners to be confident that volunteers have the right knowledge and skills to enable them to find new roles more quickly and to move more easily between volunteering placements. The training will be delivered by Norfolk County Council Adult Learning, which was Voluntary Norfolk’s partner in delivering our successful Volunteering in the Community course.
The pilot has been developed in consultation with volunteers, VCSE organisations, statutory partners, and organisations delivering Passport schemes in other parts of the country with core elements including:
A programme of 5 core training modules, based on the tried and tested training programme developed by the Derbyshire Volunteer Passport scheme. The core modules will be:
- Introduction to Volunteering
- Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
- Health and Safety
- Safeguarding Adults and Children
- Person-centred working
The general view of organisations and volunteers we consulted was that the training would be best delivered by a mix of online and in-person training, and this will be our aim in the future, but due to the current crisis, the training for the pilot will all be delivered online.
Volunteers will be supported by staff from Voluntary Norfolk and Adult Learning while they are completing the Volunteer Passport training modules. This will include setting up regular online group support sessions for participants.
Details of volunteers that are working towards a Volunteer Passport and those who have successfully completed the training modules will be held on a central database. Volunteers will have a log in so that they can update their personal details, and provide further information, such as additional training completed.
Requests for references for volunteers who have not yet started volunteering will be taken up, and we will be looking at how to make these available to recruiting organisations, with the volunteer and referees’ permissions.
Identifying suitable volunteer roles
On completion of the Volunteer Passport training, volunteers who do not already have a role identified, will be supported to register with, and use, the Volunteering Portal to search for and apply for volunteer roles.
We will be evaluating the pilot with the help of the participants, the organisations who put them forward, colleagues from Adult Learning and the Voluntary Norfolk Volunteering Team. There are some additional elements that could be included in the Volunteer Passport scheme and we will be consulting further with volunteers and people from organisations about how these might be integrated into the scheme.
We will soon be recruiting volunteers onto the pilot, and hope to include people who have recently been recruited by organisations, as well as people who are new to volunteering and would like to be better prepared to take on a volunteer role.
Interested volunteers will be asked to complete an online application form and will be interviewed by a member of staff from Voluntary Norfolk. If someone is not thought to be suitable for the pilot, they will be offered the chance to join a later course and/or helped to identify a suitable volunteering opportunity. An optional introduction to Zoom course will be offered to people who are not familiar with using video conferencing software, but participants for the pilot will need to be reasonably comfortable with using a computer and the internet as we are not able to offer a face to face option at the current time.
We are setting up a Steering Group to help us to develop and evaluate the pilot project, including volunteers, people from organisations who work with volunteers and people from statutory organisations.
Voluntary Norfolk is looking for organisations and volunteers who would like to get involved in the pilot of the Volunteer Passport scheme. If you are interested or would like to find out more about the Volunteer Passport email Claire Grainger, Voluntary Sector Development Manager or call Claire on 07538 423820.