How do I manage volunteers?

Call for volunteers

Do you need volunteers for your project?

 with a brief project title, description and contact details (including a link) to  and we can post your request here.

Where to find volunteers

Discussion sessions at the Local Action Group Workshop in Jan 2011 suggested that existing local groups such as the list below can be approached for recruiting volunteers:

  • Womens Institute
  • Bingo groups
  • Anglers
  • Canoers
  • Young Farmers
  • Church groups
  • Probation Service
  • Scouts, Brownies, Youth groups, Cadets
  • Wildlife recorders
  • Parish Councils
  • Tree wardens  (audit records)
  • ‘Green Gyms’
  • Allotments groups
  • and other community groups
  • Private sector (eg business/corporate volunteer/activity days)
  • John Muir Trust (external link)
  • Partnership with other volunteer groups
  • Import volunteers to kick start control

How to attract volunteers

Here are some ideas put forward at the last Local Action Group Workshop (January 2011):

  • Gather interest with the help of celebrities
  • encourage volunteers to have fun by providing tea and biscuits, food and a party
  • provide all equipment/kit
  • provide info (eg ID sheets)
  • illustrate success and benefits
  • starting point may not be INNS but could be litter then diversify
  • provide training or offer free training day and chance to further their CV (eg ID and recording skills)
  • provide transport for workforce
  • Extend the role of volunteers to include: raising awareness, recruiting, mapping, campaigning, fundraising and preparing bids

How to advertise a project to recruit volunteers

Here are some more ideas from the Local Action Groups Workshop (2011):

  • Volunteer offices
  • Use social networks such as twitter, facebook, myspace etc,
  • Event pages on websites,
  • Blogs and discussion forums.
  • Fresher’s week at universities
  • Word of mouth,
  • Press releases,
  • Posters/adverts, flyers, leaflets
  • Maildrops,
  • Stalls at agricultural shows and similar local events,
  • Presentations and seminars
  • News letters

Suggestions for keeping happy volunteers

The suggestions below arose from discussion sessions at the Local Action Group Workshop 2011.
  • Vary tasks and break up the day
  • Repeat events annually
  • Provide an annual gathering (such as a party or BBQ to give updates)
  • Keep momentum by moving onto new control
  • Follow up (eg Thank you’s and news letters, keep informed, update action in newletter/email)
  • Encourage volunteers to understand the task and see the bigger picture (eg manage water course as a whole, the benefits of the end product)
  • Provide information, education and the opportunity to learn
  • Provide a professional environment such as feeling safe (not over the top H&S), good advice, structure and well-organised activities, facilities for families
  • Size of groups ideally 10-40
  • Promote creation not just destruction (eg seed mix from sucker machine – harvesting as restoration)
  • Publicise success
  • Make volunteers feel part of something
  • Offer other opportunities
  • Keep records of volunteers, record what was achieved (eg counting bin bags – publicise on flickr image website)
  • Build in commitment (eg adopt an area), promote community identity, champion and coordination and responsibility for reporting progress on their patch
We want to develop this page with your help. Please with suggestions for information and links on volunteers.

Return to Local Action Groups - Home

Thin strip of image show tree trunk and bark