Volunteers' Week takes place 1st - 7th June every year. It is an ideal opportunity to showcase volunteer opportunities and to thank all of our existing volunteers for gifting their time, energy and skills.


Volunteer retention is a good indicator of whether the roles have been well-shaped and matched.  Society is changing in the ways people wish to volunteer, if at all. It is not a case of thinking there are many other fish in the sea. Organisations need to attract quality and to grow their volunteer base building a healthy and happy volunteering culture.


For me, there is no better feeling than knowing that I am in the right place at the right time and making the right difference. 


Being a volunteer advocate is not easy, sometimes it is really hard and challenging but it is also uplifting and an endless learning experience. 


Being a volunteer advocate can seem lonely at times and problems may appear to be insurmountable and test my emotional intelligence and determination. This also gives me the chance to be creative in looking for solutions.


I respect my fellow volunteer advocates and celebrate their successes as if they were my own because it makes us feel that we are a family and that makes us strong. However strong we are, and however good at self managing, we could not do without the constant attention and wisdom of our supervisor. 


Our supervisor is busy doing a whole range of essential things we are barely aware of. What we are aware of is the interface we share, the safety net. We know we are valued, she knows our strengths and foibles and she is ready to help if asked. A volunteer supervisor is good at guidance rather than direction and delivers training in a professional but fun way and knows the importance of cake.


As volunteer advocates we are good listeners, but who listens to the listeners? I have always felt listened to at POhWER and grateful for the supportive environment.


Written by Ruth - a POhWER volunteer advocate in Bedfordshire.