Rowan Alba achieve IiV

5 August 2015

Rowan Alba, in the words of its Interim Chief Executive, “supports service users nobody else would engage with.  These people are easy to overlook.” 

The Edinburgh-based organisation, which achieved Investing in Volunteers accreditation in July 2015, works with vulnerable people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, often with a long term history of alcohol abuse.  Because they choose to continue drinking, such people can find it difficult to access services through normal channels.  Rowan Alba has a very strong non-judgemental ethos.    

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Thirty seven volunteers support Rowan Alba’s activities, and throughout the assessment the assessor was left in no doubt about the organisation’s commitment to its volunteers, and the value it placed on their contribution. Volunteers described the training opportunities open to them, their involvement in policy consultation exercises, the way their suggestions were welcomed and frequently implemented, and above all, the excellent processes in place to protect them when working on a one to one basis with service users. 

The volunteers were unanimously positive about their experiences with Rowan Alba, reporting a high level of satisfaction in working with service users and the excellent support they received from staff.  A typical volunteer comment was, “We’re all made to feel that we’re part of the Rowan Alba family.”

“The Investing in Volunteers process provided our organisation with the best practice structure to build and develop volunteering across Rowan Alba.  Every day I am in wonder at the exceptional people that come our way and commit their time, energy and experience to our organisation.  This means we reach hundreds more vulnerable people across Edinburgh as a result. The Investing in Volunteers process gave us the assurance that we were doing everything in our power to ensure that these volunteers are embraced, championed and held at the heart of our strategic aims and aspirations.”

CARDS volunteer Co-ordinator, Rowan Alba, July 2015.

Volunteer Scotland is delighted to be able to add Rowan Alba to the list of IiV achievers, recognising their commitment to volunteering and to ensuring an excellent volunteering experience for all.