Volunteer Manager Resources

Welcome to the Volunteer Managers Resource page. If you have been involving volunteers for years or perhaps you are thinking about involving volunteers for the first time then this page is for you.

If you would like to talk to Emily about recruiting volunteers for your organisation or community group please call on 01702 356000 and arrange a time to meet her to discuss your volunteering needs. Alternatively if you are already registered with the volunteer centre please go to the bottom of this page and download an Opportunity Registration Form, complete it and email it to Emily on vb@savs-southend.co.uk.

All volunteer roles registered with the volunteer centre are promoted in a number of different ways such as the Volunteer Essex website, the Yellow Advertiser and to our database of existing volunteers as well as being emailed out monthly in a menu of opportunities to a database of hundreds of volunteers. To find out more about how the Volunteer Centre can help you promote your volunteer roles, including making the most of the Volunteer Essex website, please get in touch.

    Visit the NCVO (The National Council for Voluntary Organisations) website for further information:www.ncvo.org.uk/

Volunteer Management Training 

The Volunteer Centre Southend offers two essential training courses which are held regularly throughout the year. These are

  • Recruiting Volunteers; and
  • Retaining Volunteers.

These are not only great for people new to the volunteer management role but also a useful refresher for those who have been volunteer managers for years.

The next Recruiting Volunteers and Retaining Volunteers Courses are on Thursday 9th March 2017

If you would like to attend these courses, you can book here https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/SAVSBookingForm.

There is also a link to the full SAVS training prospectus so that you can see the dates and more details for the next sessions together with other training courses provided by SAVS. 

The Volunteer Centre Southend is here to support you through the volunteering process and advise you on good practice around involving volunteers. If you have a query or would like to see a specific area covered on this page please do get in touch – we will be happy to hear from you.

Organisation Case Studies

Feedback is important for you to be able to monitor successes as well as areas where improvement may be needed. Case studies are an excellent way of showing the impact your organisation is making in the community both to members of the public as well as potential funders. It is also good to know that your efforts are making a difference!


My new job as interim volunteer coordinator for Homeless Action Resource Project (HARP) landed me in the deep end as it was my first experience of managing volunteers. My only previous experience of volunteers was being one myself.

My first port of call was Southend Association of Voluntary Services (SAVS), where I enrolled on two fantastically informative courses; Recruiting Volunteers and Retaining Volunteers both exemplary delivered by Emily Middlemast, SAVS volunteer coordinator. Both of the courses gave me an excellent insight into volunteer recruitment, management and most importantly, retention.  

Armed will my newly gained knowledge I was ready to take on the permanent role of Recruitment & Retention Officer at HARP and there were many roles to fill. My capability was given the first test one Monday morning when our property manager came in slightly stressed at running over budget on a project. “We need painters” he declared, “have you got any?” “Nope, but I know a place who has!” I answered.

One great tip I learned on the recruiting volunteer course was the use of short snappy titles in order to attract more people and so I came up with ‘The Magic Makeover’ and SAVS advertised this on their high traffic website. The emails started to flood in with potential volunteers looking to help on HARPs project, so much so I had to call Lynne over at SAVS to ask her to remove it from their page.  I had a long list of potential recruits to work through. After chatting with each individual four were selected for the role, which started on the Saturday morning.

On arrival at my desk on the following Monday morning I was greeted with big smiles and a big thank you from our property manager.  The volunteers recruited through SAVS had done an outstanding job on the Magic Makeover and our team were full of praise for them and SAVS for filling the spaces so efficiently and quickly. It is very rewarding for both volunteers and project managers when things run so smoothly.

HARP is expanding as a charity and the future will bring a great deal of interaction with SAVS in order to fill our posts with a reliable team of volunteers. At HARP we aspire to have a great happy team of volunteers who are an essential in helping us deliver support services to the local homeless.     

Joanne DearVolunteer Recruitment & Retention Officer

Salvation Army

Just a quick note with regard to your 16-24 year old volunteers, I cant believe it was over a year ago when you advised you had applied for funding and  hoped the project would start in September. how positive to see the investment particularly for those under the age of 18. i remember as a child bob a job and completing a volunteering element of a  badge in cubs/scouts involved knocking on someones door or turning up at an old peoples home and just getting on with it.... I recognise society has moved on and can see many positives particurlary around safeguarding that have been introduced, but on the flip side those children/young adults that want to volunteer in order to complete a duke of edinburgh award or scout related award, or just to volunteer without reward or recognition actually deserve an award just for finding a volunteer role, it has been most refreshing and given me great pleasure to sign post many youngsters that approach me for volunteering opportunies to SAVS. As you know we have had a number start volunteering here with us and some have gained the confidence and skills to move on into main stream employment, or full time courses at university.

Ashley Smith, Employment Development Officer

Just Ride Southend

Just Ride Southend is a new and rapidly expanding bike club which provides cycling sessions for riders of all ages and abilities.  It is an independent organisation, with no regular income or paid staff and therefore relies heavily on the support of volunteers.

When we started in 2014 we had a lot to learn and we turned to SAVS for help.  We sent a trustee to one of SAVS courses (Volunteer Management) to find out what we could do to involve more people.  We learned how to motivate and support volunteers and discovered that paperwork is important but doesn’t have to be complicated.

Just Ride has recently held its first Annual General Meeting where we took on 4 new trustees and discussed buying more bikes. With a firm foundation and more volunteers to support sessions, we can look forward to more people, riding more bikes, more often.


Marine Conservation Society

From first point of contact SAVS have been brilliant! All I needed to do was fill in a simple form and they did the rest! I was organising a beach clean-up as part of the Marine Conservation Society Big Beach Clean Up Weekend and needed as many volunteers as possible. SAVS set to work straight away promoting the event to encourage volunteers to attend and sent me an email with a list of potential volunteers and their contact details. I got in touch with all the volunteers to give more information about the event. On the day the volunteers were fantastic! As well as being very friendly, they got stuck straight in and it was hugely inspiring to see how much they cared about our beaches! Without the help of SAVS, I would not have had so many willing volunteers to help, so a huge thank you to SAVS and the volunteers! I will definitely get in touch again for the next clean up!

Youth at Risk

Southend Association of Voluntary Services (SAVS) have been instrumental in the success of volunteer recruitment for two of our Southend Girls Projects this year and, throughout the time we’ve worked together, I have found everyone to be very efficient and helpful. They made registering our organisation and submitting the forms for the various volunteering opportunities we wanted them to publicise as painless as possible. They are approachable and friendly and have done a great job in introducing our volunteer opportunities to potential volunteers.

Sue Handley, Volunteer Co-ordinator, Youth at Risk

Inter-Church Caring for the Elderly and Disabled Saturday Morning Club

This club meets weekly and has around 25 members most of whom attend very regularly. The club is part of a local Registered Charity and meets at St. Michael's Church Hall in Leigh on Sea. We  also operate a weekly Tuesday Luncheon Club in Westcliff on Sea.

Saturday Morning Club is one of the oldest in the country being set up in 1972 by members of Crowstone St. George's URC and St. Saviour's Parish Church both in Kings Road, Westcliff on Sea. For almost 40 years these churches provided a pool of volunteer helpers, minibus and car drivers to keep the club running efficiently but, as they grew older, the pool evaporated as younger successors were not coming forward in sufficient numbers. The club is overseen by a Management Committee and a proposal to approach SAVS to seek volunteers was agreed. I visited SAVS to meet Emily Middlemast and was very encouraged by her enthusiasm and confidence that she would obtain young, willing volunteers for us via her various promotions including regular broadcasts on local radio. Emily was proved right and we soon had 10 new  helpers and 2 new minibus drivers to call on.

Our experience has been entirely positive, completing the registration forms does not take too long and paid terrific dividends for this local charity.

My advice to any organisation in a similar  predicament to us is to trust Emily and go for it!

C John Davey,  Chairman of Trustees


The Value of the Volunteer to your Organisation

The Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings shows that the average hourly wage for 2005 was £12.55.

Attaching a 'value' to volunteers is really useful for organisations that do not see the point of investing time and resources in volunteering. Being able to say, "Our volunteers are worth £x amount to us a year, if someone was donating that much cash to us we'd feel duty bound to use it in the most efficient way possible (and say thank you!), why are we treating volunteering differently?"

The Heritage Lottery Fund applications put a value on volunteers, as follows:
unskilled tasks can be costed at up to £50 per day. This might include basic gardening in a park, stewarding at a community heritage event or general maintenance work; skilled tasks can be costed at up to £150 per day. This might include training in dry stone wall building techniques, verifying data in a species identification project or planning and leading an education workshop; and
professional tasks can be costed at up to £350 per day. This might include providing architectural plans, writing a business plan or creating an interpretation strategy or learning activities."

Whilst there is endless research that validates the financial benefits to organisations who involve volunteers, it is also important to think about the other benefits they bring with them.

  • They are a valuable link to your local community
  • Involving volunteers increases diversity and brings fresh ideas and personalities into your organisation.
  • Volunteers provide valuable assistance to paid staff often doing the jobs that others are less than keen to do (although this should be kept as part of a balanced role description!)
  • Volunteers give a more personal touch in services to clients,
  • They can assist with fundraising,
  • They can help an organisation become more cost effective,
  • They can be involved to respond to a request for a specific service,
  • They can often provide something that professionals can’t.

Above all they help deliver the organisation’s goals alongside all of its other members and staff.

Of course in return for all these benefits there are a number of commitments the Organisation will need to consider before involving volunteers. These may include:

  • Insurance
  • Developing a role description
  • A Volunteer Policy
  • Developing an induction process
  • Training in a specific skill
  • Paying out of pocket expenses.

If you are reading this and thinking “My Organisation should definitely think about involving Volunteers!” then please contact the Volunteer Centre Southend who will be happy to talk to you about how and where to begin. Please call 01702 356060 to arrange an appointment.

The Volunteer Centre Manager Writes………

The work of voluntary organisations and individual volunteers makes a valuable contribution to our everyday lives and happy volunteers are vital to their organisations success. A happy volunteer is one who is properly recruited and managed. A volunteer, who is clear about their role within the organisation, knows where to find support when they need it, knows they are valued and whose Organisation strives to meet their motivations, will be committed and hard working for your cause.

Use this checklist to ensure your policies and procedures are up to date.

Volunteer Policy

Induction and Training

Role Description

Volunteer Agreement

Volunteer Handbook/Copies of Policies

Risk Assessments


Supervision and Support

Welcome Pack

Scroll to the end of the page to download the SAVS “Valuing Volunteers” booklet for further information on each of these subjects. 


For some volunteer roles more in depth training is required to ensure that volunteers are equipped with the right skills to carry out their tasks. The most economical is on the job training which is effective if you are taking on volunteers one at a time for quite simple tasks. Other methods include in-house training and external training which are better suited to groups of volunteers and can provide a more in depth knowledge for complex roles.

A good source of training for volunteers is Voluntary Sector Training www.voluntarysectortraining.org.uk telephone: 01371 876747(details can be found on our training page) or Southend Adult Community College tel: 01702 445700 

We hope that we have given you some food for thought, answered some of your questions and hopefully made you think of some more! Don’t forget you can email your questions to me at the Volunteer Centre Southend vb@savs-southend.co.uk or follow the link to the NCVO (The National Council for Voluntary Organisations) website for further information: www.ncvo.org.uk/