We had a great assignment this year working with HelpForce and the Royal Free Hospital looking at great practices in volunteer engagement at this outstanding trust. Our challenge was to help the organisation to see itself through fresh eyes; to structure learnings from the past and to set ambitions to strive for as continued improvement.
We interviewed many staff, patients and volunteers in person (some four legged). And we analysed the feedback to identify the success factors that drive this successful volunteer programme. We talked to dementia volunteers in particular, which is a challenging but hugely impactful area for volunteers. We learnt so much: the power of a well-led, high visibility volunteer programme that really supports and recognises volunteers and allows them flexibility in their work; and how this can integrate brilliantly with staff roles and patient care in a hospital.
It was a privilege to do this work.