Good Numbers

Posted on 4th June 2015 by
NCS manager Sean and volunteer Laura

NCS manager Sean and volunteer Laura working the spreadsheets

In my last blog, I mentioned being immersed in figures and reports. This is not necessarily a bad thing. Analysis of spreadsheets can bring to your attention things that are not immediately apparent, or suggest answers to questions.

For example, why do things always feel so busy?

Maybe because we had to deal with a 30% increase in referrals in 2014-15.

Or because since January we have had to deal with an enquiry about volunteering every working day, interviewed 55 new volunteers, accepted 37 new volunteers and provided induction training for 51 volunteers – the busiest period of volunteer recruitment since the Neighbourhood Care Scheme began.

The upshot of this was that in 2014-15 we enabled 232 volunteers to provide support to 289 scheme members – the highest annual total ever.

Part of the reason why we are able to support so many volunteers is because so many of them stick with us for such a long time. Well over 50 of our volunteers have been supporting people for more than five years. Generally feedback from volunteers who leave is very positive, such as this from Emma, a student volunteer, that we received this morning:

“Getting to know Joanna has been an absolute pleasure and a great experience. She is such a colourful character but somebody who it takes time and is not always easy to get to know so it is a privilege when you do get to and to bring out her great sense of humour.

“I have always enjoyed my visits and getting to spend time with somebody who I wouldn’t ordinarily come across in my life. It is great to get a completely different perspective at times.

“I’ve had fantastic support from the team, and support was even given preemptively.”

Emma was happy with the support she received from us, but I did wonder whether we were so busy recruiting new volunteers that we were in danger of taking our existing volunteers for granted.

Volunteers’ Week has proved a perfect opportunity for us to give a special thank you to all our long-term volunteers, and to remind them how much they are appreciated – not just by the NCS office team, but by the people they support. We are privileged in our jobs to work with so many positive people.

Back now to the spreadsheets.

If you want to become one of our wonderful and valued volunteers, please visit our Volunteer page – we would be delighted to hear from you.

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