1st Five and Thinking About: Managing Volunteers
In the Thinking About module, we considered the teachings of Paulo Freire in his book Pedagogy of the Oppressed (published 1970, revised 1993). Freire goes on to say that without reflection we cannot achieve praxis – which is the ability to consolidate our learning and apply it to a practical application.
So, at this stage, we need to reflect on what we have learnt and how we apply it.
Journal: Make some notes about what you think about volunteers. Are they a resource, a help or a hindrance?
You will have a more positive relationship if you see them as equals and in a positive light. Think about why you feel the way you do and what you need to change to make the relationship more productive.
Journal: Do you want their thoughts and suggestions about your project or do you just want them to do the task to your instructions?
You may find that if you are flexible in your approach the volunteers might come up with something you have not thought of. If you do not ask, you will not know! Volunteers often feel more motivated if they feel a sense of ownership of the project.
Journal: Have a look at https://www.ncvo.org.uk/ https://www.ncvo.org.uk https://www.gov.uk/government/get-involved/take-part/volunteer https://volunteeringmatters.org.uk/ and make notes of any useful ideas. How do you think these organisations could help you?
What tasks can volunteers do? Can volunteers do anything?
Journal: Take a look at Volunteer Case Studies and see if any surprises you. If so, why? Make a note to reflect on this.
We also consider the benefits of community engagement.
You may find this article interesting:
This article illustrates the point of the levels of community engagement: