SSW, the year ahead: developing a volunteer/member buddy befriending scheme, to match people by shared interests

We’ve said it before and we’re very happy to say it again: our volunteers are vital to the success of SSW. Without this team of dedicated and helpful people we’d not be able to provide all that we do. And now, due to one of our objectives for the year, we’re hoping to increase our team of volunteers again.


Objective number 4 is to ‘develop a volunteer/member buddy befriending scheme, to match people by shared interests’. Over the next year or so, we’d like to build a pool of volunteers who are happy to be paired with members (and members-to-be!) based on either a practical need (say, gardening, for example), a shared hobby, or just getting together to do something fun. Volunteers and members can specify their interests, time availability, location or any other factor that might affect who they’re paired with. Some people may want a regular slot with their ‘buddy’ whereas others might like to meet as and when. Even meeting up isn’t essential; a phone call or online chat might suit the situation. We won’t have any set criteria and both parties will have a say on what their expectations and requirements are.


There are also supporting objectives related to the creation of a befriending scheme: improving our volunteer ‘experience’ and ensuring we have dedicated resourcing to grow our volunteering capabilities. In fact this second point is already underway with the appointment of Katie as our new Volunteer Coordinator (you can read more about Katie here). As well as working with our volunteers on a day-to-day basis Katie will also be working with the rest of the team to update how we communicate with our volunteers. In addition, Katie will be honing our induction processes so that all volunteers feel confident in carrying out their role.


We hope lots of you will be keen to join our buddy befriending scheme, in whatever capacity is right for you. Do get in touch with Katie if you’d like to volunteer for us, whether for our new scheme or in any other role.