Levol-app is a modern, flexible, tried and tested online training platform that we’ll be piloting in Birmingham with a small group of paid or voluntary practitioners. We expect to start end of February or into March, tho individuals can start anytime to suit themselves. This is a pilot being evaluated as we go, so we expect to offer free places to only 6 people. Book a place as soon as you’re ready to commit!

To discuss the programme or your participation in it, or to sign up, please contact: dave@springhousing.org.uk – happy to arrange a call or Zoom!

This early bird opportunity is open to Perry Barr Neighbourhood Network Scheme organisations and groups, as well as individuals active within their community who want to work alongside other volunteers. Priority will be given to those currently working with volunteers, but we are also offering one place to someone new to volunteer management, but who is keen to develop their career in this direction or who’s looking to start a volunteering programme within their group or organisation. If you feel you’d benefit from practical training on the key areas of volunteering coordination, this could be a great no cost option. You will also contribute to our learning and development, so benefiting many others who may come along after you.

You will be able to access everything for free in exchange for your feedback, so self-study, group discussion, mentoring and resources. Go at your own pace and create your own course, as you prefer. We can guide you as needed. In return, we just ask for your insights to help us to develop a qualification from the existing programme. Win-Win! Obligation is a simple start and end self assessment form, tick box based, and a short phone or Zoom conversation with our external evaluator. Your insights will help us decide whether to develop a proper qualification from the pilot programme.

If you’re a volunteer coordinator, paid or voluntary, you’re welcome to apply for an immediate start (or start when you like and take things at your pace).

Besides access to the online content for self learning and associated mentoring (from an experienced strategic and operational professional), you’ll get access to template resources to help develop your approach to organisation wide volunteering.

The platform contains nine learning units, covering the key essentials of volunteer management. Each includes a theoretical part, practical exercises and plenty of external materials and templates.

  1. Planning a volunteer programme
  2. Organisation of the volunteer programme
  3. Designing volunteer positions
  4. Recruiting the right volunteers
  5. Matching volunteers to the role
  6. Preparing volunteers for success
  7. Support and supervision in managing volunteers
  8. Monitoring and evaluation of volunteer programmes
  9. Recognition of volunteers.

Besides self-learning individual work, group discussions and one to one mentoring, you will receive a certificate to recognise the knowledge acquired, alongside invaluable free access to editable templates, policies and guidelines to create and support your volunteering programme. There may be opportunity to obtain the qualification later, once developed. There’ll be a cost for this, but we don’t expect it to be much.

To discuss the programme or your participation in it, or to sign up, please contact: dave@springhousing.org.uk – happy to arrange a call or Zoom!

About the course facilitator/mentor:

Dave Conroy works as a freelance project/programmes manager and senior interim, with specific interest in asset based community development and solution focused coaching. He has a very wide range of practical, operational experience related to volunteering, including recruitment and retention, on and offline promotion, the design and use of volunteering databases, programme and project evaluation and volunteering strategy.

He has been in and around volunteering for nearly 40 years and is an experienced volunteer himself, involved in all kinds of organisations from Samaritans to Food Cycle. He first volunteered at his local community centre aged 22, which including setting up a range of girls and mixed youth groups, before moving on to employment in a Volunteer Centre where he created targeted volunteering projects for young people. He was then asked to set up a Student Community Action Group from scratch, and ended up working with 100s of volunteers per annum via all kinds of community projects he’d developed with them.

He moved into children and families social work, but somewhat disenchanted by the dominant ‘crisis management’ approach he encountered, he left to set up CHANCE UK, a volunteer mentor based, early intervention charity, supporting children aged 5-10 years who were at risk of school exclusion (a recognised pre-curser to significant later problems). This award winning charity recently celebrated its 25 year birthday. He next developed a new volunteering project in South London, to support local BME parents with mental health challenges. For two years he project managed the national Volunteering Hub, funded by government, and was an Assistant Director with Volunteering England, the national volunteering infrastructure body.

Most recently (2015) he set up and project managed a £1.5m government funded functional English, pre-entry ESOL programme delivered by carefully selected volunteer trainers and assistant trainers. Over 1800 women from Bangladesh, Somalia and Pakistan, with little to no English, and drawn from across Birmingham, Sandwell and Leicester, benefited from the scheme. The team achieved high retention rates across the programme of 94 percent, based on design and roll out of a unique hyper-local partnership model. The programme was expanded with additional funding to include a ‘stage two’ follow on, plus access to new Digital and Hidden Carers programmes.