A carers charity has achieved the Investing in Volunteers (IiV) quality standard, recognising the excellent work it carries out with volunteers.
Carers’ Resource was assessed against a range of best practice standards around volunteer involvement, recruitment, selecting and matching, and supporting and retaining. Assessors said the organisation excelled in all four areas.
The charity’s chief executive Chris Whiley said:
We support about 16,000 unpaid carers in the Harrogate, Bradford and Skipton districts. A carer is someone who, without payment, provides help and support to a friend, neighbour or relative who could not manage otherwise because of frailty, illness, addiction or disability.
We rely on and highly value our 98 volunteers and we are delighted to have been awarded the Investing in Volunteers standard again. It’s proof once again that we take our responsibility towards volunteers and potential volunteers seriously, and that we appreciate their support, experience and sacrifice.
Twenty-five volunteers were interviewed by the IiV assessment team and one of them said:
It’s not called Carer’s Resource for nothing. It is just a caring organisation, everything is so inclusive. I like the way they encourage team working and encourage initiative so we feel really part of the organisation.
Two of the charity’s projects, Carers Time Off and Worth Connecting, are highly dependent on volunteers. Carers Time Off involves volunteers sitting with, or taking out, a person who is cared for so that the carer can have a break, while Worth Connecting helps people aged 55 or over to get online.
A volunteer said:
Personally, I’ve made good progress since I’ve been here. I’m given more responsibility and at a comfortable pace personally. I feel valued.
Volunteers also support Carers’ Resource in administration and information technology, and give emotional support to carers on the phone. Others assist the Home from Hospital team by offering practical help and support to people who have just been discharged from hospital.
IiV’s final report said:
People at all levels of the organisation articulated the importance of volunteering and that volunteers were seen as integral to the organisation.
There is a role of Group Hosts and Support, who host groups and activities for carers and support at groups and events. Young Carers volunteers support young carer youth clubs in two localities, providing activities and a break from their caring role.
It is the third time Carers’ Resource has been given a renewal of the standard after it first achieved the Investing in Volunteers Award in 2007. The latest award is valid for three years.