Volunteer management best practice - Whizz-Kidz

VCTH helped Whizz-Kidz with best practice in Volunteer Management

Whizz-Kidz was started in 1990 and over the past 25 years has transformed the lives of more than 20,000 disabled children. This has included providing them with life-changing mobility equipment, delivering life skills services for young disabled people, including youth groups (Ambassador Clubs), Wheelchair Skills Training and Residential Camps. Volunteers help in a variety of roles including assisting at Ambassador Clubs, Wheelchair Skills Training sessions and Camp Whizz-Kidz, mentoring young wheelchair users who are taking part in the Young Leaders scheme, as well as fundraising and speaking opportunities and internships at the Head Office. In 2016, Whizz-Kidz began the process of preparing for Investing in Volunteers accreditation. VCTH was appointed as their IiV Advisor.
How VCTH helped
VCTH helped Whizz-Kidz develop new monitoring forms that included the 9 protected characteristics defined in the Equalities Act 2010. Together we reviewed the wording of the form and ensured it included pregnancy and breastfeeding as additional equalities strand and monitored the number of volunteers who are wheelchair users. The new monitoring system in place allows an analysis of the diversity of their current volunteer team and producing an action plan to address areas of under representation.
Involving ex-offenders: A key aspect of diversity is enabling ex-offenders to volunteer, where possible. Our support to Whizz-Kidz included providing information on the filtering of spent offences, suggestions for the question on criminal convictions to include in their volunteer application form, providing a sample policy on involving ex-offenders, supporting them to think about which volunteers roles are eligible for different levels of DBS check, and providing detailed comments on their Criminal Record Disclosure Policy.
Volunteers on benefits: We signposted Whizz-Kidz to NCVO’s guidance on volunteering while on benefits, so that they can pass information on to applicants and volunteers. We also provided an example of a form that some Job Centres ask volunteers on benefits to complete, flagging some questions (e.g. on contracts and expenses) where volunteers might need support in answering accurately to avoid risking benefit sanctions.
“Here at Whizz-Kidz, we really appreciated VCTH’s invaluable advice and support in helping us to make our documents, policies and practices more diverse and inclusive. Evelyn and Cath clearly have expertise in this area and was able to share relevant examples and information to assist us", says Jo Rhodes-Jiao: Head of Volunteering and Leadership, Whizz Kidz. "We’ve already seen results too – not only with our IiV assessment going well but in terms of finding out more about the diversity of our volunteer resource and putting in place new recruitment initiatives to address shortfall areas. For example, we have established links with all sports centres running wheelchair sports about our volunteering opportunities. I would like to thank Evelyn and Cath very much for their time and guidance”.
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