Volunteering – Humankind

Our trustees: many voices, working together, with purpose

Ann Hall

This year, the Volunteering function adopted our charity’s trustees. They previously sat independently to Volunteering at Humankind.  

As a trustee for a Community Interest Company, I know how tirelessly trustees work, often without others appreciating what takes place behind the scenes and the investment required. 

This has helped me to appreciate our trustees at Humankind in a way I just couldn’t have done beforehand.  

During Trustees Week, which took place from 6 to 10 November 2023, asked people across Humankind to share any messages of appreciation they had for our trustees. Here is a selection of some of those messages: 

“The interest you have shown in our learners during trustee visits has been truly impactful and highly valued by both learners and colleagues.” 

“I particularly appreciated the time you committed to prepare in advance of the recent Ofsted which supported us to achieve a ‘Good’ rating, your openness to learning and transparency in this process was refreshing and valued by those involved.” 

“Always reminding us why we are here and remaining passionate about ensuring that we never stop keeping people at the heart of everything we do.” 

Our Board of Trustees come from diverse backgrounds, ranging from people with lived experience of drug and alcohol issues who have used their experiences to write plays and articles about the drug treatment system to entrepreneurs who have founded several tech start-ups. We also have a trustee who has over 20 years of experience of working around operational risk with a science background in Biotechnology and Molecular Genetics, Academia and charity work. 

This is just a small snapshot that highlights the real breadth of experiences and diverse thinking that our board hold. 

While reflecting on their involvement with Humankind, [one trustee] said, “I think the standout for me has been the ability of people to turn their lives around and rise from some very dark places into the sunshine. To be associated with that lifechanging journey and know that our charity has helped in the process is fantastically rewarding and certainly keeps me enthused.” 

We recently asked Trustees for some feedback via a new annual Trustee Survey and will share the results shortly.

Volunteer Survey 2023 shows enthusiasm from Humankind Volunteers

Jasmine Rocks

Across Humankind, we value all our volunteers. We offer a variety of roles and opportunities, ranging from advocate to researcher, admin support to peer mentor, group facilitator to data entry and fundraiser to complimentary therapist. All of which are diverse, fulfilling and rewarding, and often lead to employment with us or elsewhere.

Throughout June, volunteers across our organisation completed the Annual Volunteer Survey. The survey provides the opportunity for feedback and suggestions for improvement around volunteering experiences and opportunities.

Survey results outlined that 95% of respondents said that volunteering with Humankind has made a positive difference to them and their lives.

“Everyone I have met seems to be an authentic and kind human.”

“I spend up to 7.5 hours a week with clients and I know I AM making a difference.”

Furthermore, 99% of respondents fed back that they would recommend volunteering with us to others.

“Welcomed as part of a team, treated as part of the team, trusted & empowered, the opportunities are endless.”

We are always keen to support our volunteers in achieving their end goal, whether that is to gain skills and experience or to be ready for paid employment.

Respondents rated the enjoyment they get from volunteering at Humankind at an average of 4.6 out of 5. They also rated the feeling of being valued at 4.7 out of 5. These ratings both stand as an increase on the previous year.

Where volunteers have used our Volunteer Skills Record, they rated the resource at 4.2 out of 5. This resource is intended to help track progress and development in a way that can be easily referred to in future, such as when updating a CV or preparing for an interview.

“Seeing service users improve their health, quality of life & relationships is priceless.”

“I have really enjoyed slowly gaining responsibilities as I was not thrown in the deep end but began by shadowing and I am now completing assessments”.

The survey also returned a high standard of feedback about our learning and development offer, with 92% saying Humankind’s training effectively prepares them for their role.

In some areas, however, volunteers suggested that training could be more streamlined. As a result, have committed to reviewing the amount of training material required.

“Very thorough training, lots to remember but it gets easier with time and lots of support from other staff members.”

“The quality and delivery of the training that I have received as a volunteer has been exceptional, the workshops are always interactive, thought-provoking & informative. In addition, there is a wealth of training available if you wish to take the opportunity.”

If you would like to learn more about volunteering at Humankind and explore our current opportunities, please visit our volunteering page.

Humankind retains Investing in Volunteers Award

Jack Keery

We are delighted to reveal that Humankind has been successful in retaining our Investing in Volunteers award for a third time.

Humankind first gained the award in 2015 and underwent our second renewal in August 2021, demonstrating our commitment to volunteering as a national charity.

“Supporting volunteers runs throughout all Humankind’s teams, services, and projects, and is embedded in the organisation’s ethos and values.”

Our assessor sought evidence against six quality areas: vision, planning, inclusion, recruitment and induction, support, and valuing and developing volunteers.

Evidence was gathered through a self-assessment, a portfolio and three days of interviews. Twenty-six volunteers shared their experience of volunteering at Humankind.

“I have better support here than all the jobs I’ve ever had, the staff here that go that extra mile – fantastic.” Humankind volunteer 

As an organisation, we take great pride in our Volunteer Programme and our offer to each individual volunteer.

“We are definitely made to feel part of the team, all the staff and all the volunteers are great, it feels like I’m part of a really big, happy family.” – Humankind volunteer

As Humankind have invested in support for people’s wellbeing, we have done the same for volunteers. This was recognised during the assessment, which stated:

“There is recognition that the continuous support volunteers enjoy has a huge positive impact on the recruitment of volunteers, their wellbeing, their personal development, retention of volunteers, and their feeling of being valued.”

We want to give a huge thank you to our Volunteer Coordinators, Leads and Supervisors for delivering an award winning Volunteer Programme!

Humankind’s 2020/21 Volunteer Programme at a glance:

• We appointed 97 new volunteers.
• Our volunteers have kindly given 10,604 hours of their own time to support others – that’s 209 hours every week of the year!
• 17 of our volunteer leavers left to enter education, training or employment.
• 7 (41%) of those who entered employment accepted roles within Humankind services.

Read more in our 2020/21 Impact Report.