The Prince’s Trust achieve IiV
11 August 2015
The Prince’s Trust Scotland achieved Investing in Volunteers accreditation in July 2015. They support 13 to 30 year olds who are unemployed and those struggling at school and at risk of exclusion.
There are nearly 800 volunteers involved in a wide variety of roles across Scotland. The volunteers provided a wealth and breadth of local knowledge and expertise that could not be provided by paid staff alone. One member of staff commented, Around one in five young people in the UK are not in work, education or training. Many of the young people helped by The Prince’s Trust are in or leaving care, facing issues such as homelessness or mental health problems, or have been in trouble with the law. Their programmes give young people the practical and financial support they need to stabilise their lives by developing key skills, confidence and motivation, enabling young people to move into work, education or training.
“Volunteers often bring skills from a separate industry that staff don’t have. Young people can have different role models and have a transfer of skills.”
The Prince’s Trust offer a wide variety of volunteer roles and are good at placing volunteers in roles that make best use of their skills and fit their interests. One of the volunteers commented, “The Prince’s Trust couldn’t do it without volunteers, especially in rural areas as they would have to rely on staff coming from Glasgow”.
As the many of the volunteers work, often running their own businesses, The Prince’s Trust successfully balances the different demands on the volunteers’ time. Induction, training and support is offered flexibly to suit the individual. One volunteer said, “There is a feeling that what you’re doing is appreciated, supported and recognised. I get a huge amount of moral and active support.”
Reflecting on the process The Prince’s Trust said,
“It was felt that obtaining this accreditation would greatly benefit volunteer management, primarily enhancing the message that the Trust is serious about continuing to support and listen to volunteers, ensuring they have a voice. In addition to this, the accreditation will be especially useful in recruiting new volunteers as this shows an increased level of integrity, hopefully guaranteeing that the Trust is chosen as a volunteering opportunity over another organisation."
The Volunteer Team said that they found the IiV process challenging, but their IiV assessor was able to reassure them that it would take time. The most effective method of working was setting up a focus group with one team member overseeing the whole process. They went on to say,
“It was fantastic that most volunteers who were asked to participate were keen to do so and provided honest and constructive feedback. Gaining this accreditation is a major achievement for the team and highlights how effectively they work with each other as well as with volunteers.”
The Prince’s Trust Head of Volunteering and Secondments commented, “despite the challenges in resources regarding co-ordinating volunteer interviews, we found the process to be both insightful and affirming. We are delighted that we can demonstrate through this Award our continued commitment to volunteers. We will continue to deliver the highest standard of Volunteer Management and Practice and will commit to ever growing and developing to meet the needs of our young people and volunteers”.
Volunteer Scotland is delighted to be able to add The Prince's Trust to the list of IiV achievers, recognising their commitment to volunteering and to ensuring an excellent volunteering experience for all. Contact Us for more information on IiV.