International Volunteer Day - meet our new Volunteer Services Coordinator
International Volunteer Day is held annually on 5th December and was mandated by the UN General Assembly in 1985. The day celebrates the efforts and contributions of volunteers and organisations, with a special focus on honouring people’s participation in making a difference at all levels: locally, nationally and globally. Very timely then, that we welcome our new Volunteer Services Coordinator, Ellis Banfield, to the Trust this week.
Here, Ellis talks about his experiences of working with volunteers and his tips for anyone considering a career within the voluntary sector.
Before joining the RNOH I was deputy manager at an animal welfare charity, where I was responsible for seven staff and 43 volunteers. I love working with people, particularly volunteers because each person brings so much enthusiasm and commitment to the workplace as they freely choose to be there – even on a wintery Monday morning!
More and more organisations are starting to recognise the potential of volunteers, as it is such a valuable way of involving people with diverse skill sets. In my previous job, I had volunteers helping with administration, IT, copywriting, photography, meet and greet, and, of course, with the animals. There are now so many ways to help; from traditional roles on-site to remote ‘micro volunteering’, where skilled people can volunteer for small and specific tasks to help out an organisation. This variety brings a volunteer manager into contact with people from so many different backgrounds – it’s very exciting.
For anyone considering a career in the voluntary sector, it is worth checking out what courses are offered at your local volunteer centre – they often run affordable and informative training on involving and managing volunteers. If you work in an organisation that has volunteers, putting yourself forward for mentoring, training, or supporting them is a great way to get experience in volunteer management. Departmental managers often have so many other responsibilities that they very much appreciate the help!
The only downside to volunteer management is that you do not always get to play a part in the development and growth of your volunteers in the same way as you would with employees. That isn’t to say that volunteers cannot develop within their role, but the managerial relationship isn’t quite the same.
I’m really looking forward to discovering the potential of all volunteer roles at the RNOH. Once it is recognised that volunteers can contribute in so many ways, the possibilities are vast and I’m confident that they can bring so much value and enthusiasm to the work of the hospital.
Volunteering opportunities at the RNOH
The RNOH has five main voluntary and charity groups made up of dedicated and enthusiastic volunteers and staff with diverse backgrounds, experience and skills. They help provide a range of highly valuable services within the hospital and throughout the local community. These groups regularly seek volunteers, fundraising support or active members, so if you're considering a voluntary role follow the links below to find out how you can get involved in the fantastic work they do!
Patient Group – An independent voluntary team of current and ex-patients, former staff, and interested members of the public. The group help ensure that standards of patient care are met through carrying out ward inspections, reviewing patient information leaflets, attending specialist group meetings and interviewing patients at the hospital. Currently seeking active members.
Radio Brockley – London's no.1 and longest continuous running hospital radio station having served the RNOH since 1966. Broadcast 24/7 with a wide variety of music shows, programs and news focused on hospital activities. Welcomes reliable and conscientious volunteers from all backgrounds and of all ages.
RNOH Charity – Raises money to help the RNOH provide world-class care for patients, and to support the hospital's pioneering work in orthopaedic research and education. The Charity organise events such as the annual Buttercup Walk and is always seeking supporters to help fundraise for the Redevelopment Appeal.