CHAS make it three in a row

12 June 2015

CHAS first achieved Investing in Volunteers accreditation in 2005 and recently completed their third renewal. 

ChasChildren’s Hospice Association Scotland (CHAS) is the only charity providing hospice services in Scotland for babies, children and young people with life-shortening conditions.

CHAS first achieved Investing in Volunteers accreditation in 2005 and recently completed their third renewal.

CHAS provides care to more than 350 families every year at its two hospices – Rachel House in Kinross and Robin House in Balloch – and also through CHAS at Home, which has teams working from both hospices, as well as dedicated teams in Aberdeen and Inverness, caring for families in their own homes.  It also provides bereavement support to additional families.

The charity has hundreds of volunteers spread throughout Scotland, who are involved in every area of its work: caring for children and families; raising money to pay for care and providing administrative support.

"Achieving IiV, we hope, shows our volunteers we care for and value them"

CHAS became involved with IiV 10 years ago, coinciding with the opening of Robin House.  "We wanted to assess the quality of our volunteer service, to be sure that it not only met but surpassed the requirements for the only national volunteering standard,' said a member of staff.

"We undertook IiV for the benefit of volunteers and CHAS, to ensure that we always implemented best practice.  CHAS recognised from the start that achieving the standard was only a start and that it would have to work continuously to keep standards high and retain the award.

"IiV gives us an extra perspective and has kept us on our toes.  It helps us to lever change because someone from outside the organisation suggested it. 

"Maintaining the IiV standard helps to emphasise that we take volunteering seriously.  We’re very proud of the fact that we have it.  CHAS recognises IiV - we’ve bought into it.  It’s a really good benchmark for us, a good test.  It’s an award that’s keenly priced for an organisation like us.  It asks sensible questions of us, testing the support we offer and what’s important to us."

The assessor who worked with CHAS through their most recent assessment said that she had been, "proud to have been part of the process," and was, "bowled over by the commitment and overall atmosphere within CHAS."  She went on to say, "It was impossible to distinguish between staff and volunteers, until you were introduced, and the level of professionalism shown by all was extremely impressive - and humbling." 

"During the assessment visits to various sites, the value associated with volunteers was obvious in the way staff spoke about volunteers and the resources to involve them.

Volunteers spoke very highly of staff, and their pride and satisfaction were obvious to the assessor.  "I get more out of it than I give," and, "I’m pleased I can use my skills in such a tremendous organisation" were only two of the many quotes from volunteers who were more than happy to talk about how they felt about volunteering with CHAS.

Staff could not speak highly enough of the volunteers. One member of staff said, "CHAS is a family and a large part of our family is our volunteers." Another said, "Achieving IiV, we hope, shows our volunteers we care for and value them."

Volunteer Scotland is very pleased to continue a long history of working with CHAS and delighted to have them as, not just the first but also, the longest standing achiever of the Investing in Volunteers award in Scotland.