We have volunteer visitors in many of our branches but it is not a scheme that they have to offer although it is becoming more popular as we develop teams of support volunteers. As such we don’t have a detailed breakdown in costs but there are several things that we do that can be used as a costing guide. The branch will cover the expenses for the volunteers and these will obviously vary according to the branch location. For all of our support volunteers (of which visitor is one of them) we now run a four day training programme that they must attend.
We are in the process of developing a national resource to give guidance to our committees about all support work and we also have a specific induction pack and toolkit for all of our support volunteers. All of which has a cost. At our national centre we currently have 3 people who provide support to this work, although this is under review. For one member of staff, while it is resource intensive currently due to a staff vacancy, their input is a percentage of their post, one post is full time and acts as a project coordinator and another is part time to do the training administration, although if you are running the scheme UK or nation wide I’d suggest that you have this post as a full time post. We are currently looking at the training resource that we need. Our training is co-facilitated by a local member of staff and national member of staff so this has a cost implication as well.
Depending on the scheme that you choose to run, number of volunteers involved and budget, this will have an impact on how many trainers you need and can resource. We are also developing some e learning tools which again will have a cost implication. We are fortunate enough to be a charity partner of the year for a company that is offering us some pro bono work on this for our first phase but this has the potential to have high costs. We feel that this is necessary however as we have a large number of volunteers who are affected by MS and due to the resource constraints we have and the length of the training sessions this can make accessibility of training difficult.
I’m sorry I can’t offer more concrete information on costs but this will vary from organisation to organisation depending on how you grade staffing costs, your printing arrangements and the types of venues you need for training. We are currently looking at the budget implications for this area of work to budget for the next few years. I don’t know if you have already but it might be a good idea to link up with MNDA, they have association visitors so may be able to offer you further insight. Best wishes
Our Board are keen to develop a national volunteer home visiting scheme in which volunteers visit people with Parkinson’s in their own homes to provide advice and support.
At the moment I am developing a paper which highlights the resources, staff and support that is required as well as the various policies and procedures in order to facilitate volunteers to do this safely and effectively.
I’d very much like to present them with some costsing and wondered if anyone else ran similar schemes? could provide figures on how much a volunteer service of this nature costs to resource?
Not sure the scheme I run will quite compare as it’s a local scheme – but we recruit volunteers to visit people with a Visual Impairment in their own homes (may include going out together) on average weekly for about two hours – we cover only the City of York area. We currently have about 75 partnerships – some vols have two clients – a few clients have two vols, and there are always a few vols resting – that means we do actually average a case load of about 70 supported by about 75 vols. Vols are offered travel expenses from their home to the client and back – very few take them up – costs of going out together are met by the client.
I am employed for 27 hours per week but have a remit also to manage all the volunteering in the organisation – this probably means about half a day a week on that. Many of my partnerships are very long term so the hands on management reduces as time goes on – I do no formal supervision but aim to keep in touch with all volunteers and clients on a reasonably regular basis – vols are required to report on paper on a quarterly basis.
I have a volunteer who does monitoring visits to clients on an annual basis. We are funded to the tune of £18k (just taken a 4% cut to that level) – and we more or less work to budget which covers my (not huge!) salary and admin costs as well as sundry costs such as food for events, training etc. I suspect that we manage on a pretty tight rein – it will be interesting to see how others compare![Top]