After a twelve-month application process, Cotswold Friends has been awarded Investing in Volunteers Accreditation from the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO). The application process involved a comprehensive on-site audit and interviews with thirty-seven volunteers. Ten members of staff and trustees were also interviewed, and all of Cotswold Friends volunteer policies and procedures were scrutinised, as well as current working practice and future plans.
Sheryl Murray, Volunteer Manager explained, “Our fantastic volunteers are at the heart of everything we do, and we couldn’t run our charity services without them. We felt that the NCVO application process would give us a real opportunity to review our systems, react to feedback and make sure our volunteers are having a positive experience with Cotswold Friends. We were delighted to receive the accreditation award and to read such lovely comments from the volunteers who took part in the assessment.”
Comments from the volunteer interviews included: “What a wonderful organisation it is. Everyone is so friendly and helpful and kind…nothing is too much trouble.” “They are so attentive, so caring and so pleased to hear from you….It’s like one big family.” “The staff are warm, lovely and caring. They are so committed. They really care and it comes across. They will do anything to make it work for people.”
Comments from the assessment report included: “The commitment to volunteering and recognition that volunteers are essential to delivering the aims and all of the services of Cotswold Friends was strongly communicated throughout all interviews.” “Volunteers told their stories of how volunteering had helped them through bereavement, loneliness, mental health issues, relocating……and retirement.” “The high satisfaction rates among volunteers explain the impressive retention rates for volunteers.” Amanda Howard, CEO said, “Thank you so much to everyone who contributed to the process and for the very positive and encouraging feedback. Demand on our services continues to grow and we always need more volunteers. We hope this accreditation will encourage anyone looking for a volunteering role in the North Cotswolds to contact Cotswold Friends, knowing we do all we can to support our volunteers.”