Challenge:ELBA Parks Forum Top 5 Tips
This March the Challenge:ELBA team hosted its inaugural Parks and Open Spaces Forum, aimed at highlighting best practice when working with corporate volunteers and looking at the challenges facing parks and open spaces, and how ELBA can help overcome these issues. Following on from this successful event, we’ve rounded up our top five tips for parks and open spaces working with volunteers:
Plan projects for the whole year.
Make sure ELBA have the write ups for any opportunities that need advertising, including winter and “event” opportunities. This will allow ELBA to source volunteers more easily or for specific parks.
Plan ahead and make sure everyone is informed.
This includes planning food to minimise the “lunchtime lull” and planning meeting spots to ensure everyone is on time. The community organisation should make sure they are adequately staffed and with enough tools for everyone.
Explain to volunteers the tasks they will be completing, the expected outcome and the impact they will be making to the community.
This can be done at the site visit, during the briefing and then with follow up emails to show the impact their work has made.
Emphasize the roles of the community partner and the team leader.
At the site visit and the briefing, the expectations of the team leader should be clarified and they should take certain responsibilities with the team. The community organisation should also make clear that they are there to supervise, not necessarily get involved with work.
Follow up and thank volunteers.
Thank volunteers on the day, follow up with an email, celebrate on social media and in newsletters, share before and after pictures, share feedback from the community, follow up with pictures a year later to show continued impact. This will encourage repeat volunteers.