Following on from my last blog talking about how members join, this week I bring you the process for volunteers joining us.
When we first hear from volunteers it’s generally by email asking how they join, or by going through the contact form on our website. Our application form is on the join the team page of our website, or we send it out when people enquire.
Once we have the application form, we decide in the office whether we want to interview the person, and either let them know they have not been successful or offer them an interview.
In the interview we ask questions that gauge, among other things, the person’s understanding of trans+ identities, any support or facilitation skills, and their openness to learning. If they have the last one and seem genuine, we will give most people a chance.
If we are happy with the person, we then get the potential new volunteer to sign an agreement (for confidentiality among other things) and come and observe a group. We’ll then have a discussion and see if we both want to proceed.
This allows people to check out how we run and be sure that what we do is what they want to be a part of. Once this has happened, we start to get them onto our system, allocate them an email address and get them signed up for training. We train our volunteers in trans+ awareness and facilitation and support skills (all run online) as well as having them shadow a few more groups, then we allocate them to support.
At the moment we’re really looking for more volunteers as we hope to soon return to face to face working, but are keeping our online support running as well. Part of the work involved in this is finding out who wants to stay working online, who wants to work face to face and who’d be happy to do a blend of both. Another large part, however, is finding new volunteers – both in the areas we usually run face to face and from across England and Wales for our online support.