This Saturday, on the 5th November 2022, organisations across the world will be celebrating International Volunteer Managers Day.

We spoke to Valerie Banks, Volunteer Co-Ordinator here at Carers Leeds about the day and what the role of a volunteer manager/supervisor means to her.

‘IVMDay was founded in 1999. Its purpose is education through celebration, acknowledging and championing the work of those who lead volunteer engagement and raising awareness of their vital role in organisations and wider society.

The 2022 IVMDay theme is “Many Backgrounds — One Profession — Stronger Together”. Volunteer Engagement Professionals come from diverse backgrounds, making our profession pretty special and unique.

It used to be a lonely job running the volunteer programme at Carers Leeds, but thankfully that isn’t the case now. At Carers Leeds, we now have a volunteer engagement team made up of managers, coordinators, and supervisors.

In light of our varied backgrounds and experiences, the team compiled a list of interesting jobs we’ve held for this year’s IVMDay, including cinema usherette, reflexologist, car park attendant, mailroom assistant, Twinning’s tea tester, waitress, barber, barmaid, dry cleaner, foam party gun slinger, veterinary recovery nurse, cleaner, bread tester, cottage cheese maker, banana ripener, waterbed sales, fruit picking, postman, paper round, and teaching English in Australia and Paris!

What does this list of jobs have to do with overseeing volunteers?

The job of a Volunteer Manager and the skills that are needed means having a variety of experiences is beneficial.

Connectors, recruiters, career counsellors, outreach officer, risk assessors, nurturers, cheerleaders, statisticians, evaluators, trainers, event planners, administrators, meditators, writers, and liaisons are all skills that volunteer managers must possess!

Our team has made the effort to recognise and promote the vital role that volunteer management and supervision play in order to ensure the success of our volunteer programme and volunteer experience. We have come together to improve more inclusive volunteer opportunities and procedures. Even though we still need to do more to develop into a more equitable, diverse, and inclusive volunteer team, working together has made us stronger.

It’s not just Carers Leeds doing this! Our organisation also benefits from connections with, support from and membership in organisations like the Association of Volunteer Managers, National Council for Voluntary Organisations, and Leeds Volunteer Managers Network and our partners that support and promote volunteering on a local and national level.

Solidarity with all Volunteer Managers! We are “Many Backgrounds — One Profession — Stronger Together”. Happy IVMDay 2022!’

If you would like to get involved with volunteering here at Carers Leeds, please visit here or contact Valerie by email or 07985 754 570.