Over the project we have learnt a few good tips which we would like to share:
Organising Forums for VIO's and Community Groups.
One of the objectives of HPV is to develop forums to gain an insight that will help shape the future of volunteering infrastructure – particularly with hard to reach and rural groups.
This, however, is one aspect of the work that we have found especially difficult to implement.Despite several attempts it seems that groups have not felt they could spare the time to take part in this kind of networking activity.
Frontline volunteer groups without paid workers sometimes fail to see the relevance of forums to their organisation, whereas organisations with a paid worker felt that they could not justify the time.. “I’m not saying that I wouldn’t enjoy it because I would but because I am only part time it would take up too much of my working week.”
In order to address this problem we have been creative in providing alternative occasions and space for organisations to meet, discuss common issues and generally network and learn from each other.
Solutions which work for us are to build extra time for forums into training workshops; provide networking opportunities during events being delivered; and devise innovative methods of gathering people’s opinions on the future of volunteering, such as a ‘fortune-telling’ activity.
Another solution is to organise forums where groups meet up with other groups with a similar remit, this enables groups to discuss commons aims and concerns.
Something we are looking at for the future is internet provision to enable exchange of ideas and sharing of experience. For example, online meetings, or discussion boards on social network websites. Early indications are that this could be a workable solution.. “An internet-based discussion forum might be more accessible and something that we wouldpotentially use”