Volunteers Week takes place 1-7 June every year. It’s a chance to recognise the fantastic contribution volunteers make to our communities and say thank you. This #VolunteersWeek, we hear from HideOut’s Volunteer & Staff Training Manager, Fiona Bradshaw, about the importance of volunteering and the impact our volunteers have on our members. 

“As the Volunteer Recruitment and Staff Training Manager, I support possible volunteers from the moment they send in their application. I interview them, process all of the necessary documents like references and DBS, deliver induction training, offer support with their first few sessions, coordinate recognition events and do what I can to ensure they feel supported throughout their volunteering journey with us. With my Staff Training hat on, I also ensure that volunteers have access to training and workshops where they can develop their skills, whether that’s through first aid training, introduction to youth work courses or young people’s mental health support. In the past, I have also supported volunteers with writing about their volunteering experience to support job applications and develop their CVs.  

The main thing I love about working with volunteers is that there are so many different reasons that people volunteer but no matter a volunteer’s motivations, they are able to make a huge difference to the lives of young people, as well as themselves. I love that for every volunteer, success looks completely different but feels the same; achieving a goal they have set for themself.  

Some volunteers support us to develop their own confidence. They can do that here by engaging with a variety of different people and trying new things. Others might volunteer to encourage young people to get involved in something they wish they’d had themselves when they were younger. So many of our volunteers say they wish they’d had something like the Youth Zone when they were younger so being able to bring their varied skills to provide young people with new opportunities is really empowering. Other volunteers hope to gain experience working with young people to get in to get relevant experience when looking for work and there’s no better place to get it than here! Whatever a volunteers’ reasons or motivations for volunteering, we’re able to offer a variety of opportunities to support their development.  

If you’re reading this and thinking ‘I’d love to volunteer but don’t have any skills’, you absolutely do! We have loads of opportunities for volunteers to get involved in, from serving young people in our café and tuck shop or driving our minibus to helping them create a ‘Masterchef’ worthy dish in the training kitchen, you’ve definitely got something to benefit our young people.

Fiona Bradshaw

Volunteer Recruitment & Staff Training Manager