Our report provides clear evidence of why change is needed in current volunteer recruitment practices and shares practical tips on how to make it happen, as told by people with lived experience of mental health.  Traditional methods of volunteer recruitment, such as applying through application forms is not the preferred route into volunteering for many in our community.  

This report details three common themes participants shared with us through our user centred design research supported by the Deloitte Digital Connect Project and Volunteer Centre Hackney, Lewisham Local and Volunteer Centre Bexley.

  • Many come to volunteering having already had some past volunteering experience and often this has not been positive.  People approach a volunteer opportunity thinking ‘is this a place for me’? Taking cues from a range of points on their volunteer journey helps people to clarify this.  The tone of the language in the advert is a key starting place for many.  Others look to the website for cues, including testimonials from past volunteers or evidence of inclusion standards.

  • Is it safe for me to volunteer here? People want to speak to someone in the charity responsible for volunteers before applying, to get a feel for how safe and supportive this charity is for them.  People shared examples of meeting charities at volunteer fairs, going along to taster events or events the charity ran as helpful ways of getting to know a charity before they decide whether to apply.

  • Is it easy to get in? People want to start the volunteer recruitment process with a conversation not a form.  We trialled using our volunteer advert as an invitation to connect rather than an invitation to apply and 70% of people (from a small sample of 8) told us they would be more likely to volunteer with us.  Being able to meet us and see the role in action was a key part of why.

Read the report in detail here 

To join our July Zoom session and find out more about the research and what we're doing as a result email [email protected]

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