Open Road Volunteers Recognised in National Scheme
Open Road has been awarded the prestigious ‘Investing in Volunteers’ Quality Standard. This is the only UK quality standard specifically for volunteering and it recognises the enormous contribution made by our volunteers to the success of Open Road.
The official assessor was especially impressed by the benefits that volunteers bring to our clients, especially their diverse experiences and skills. Clients said, “It’s helpful to have people who have had similar experiences, such as addiction, it helps people using the service to feel more comfortable” and “Open Road never judges people ,regardless of what they’ve done; they’re always working to support and accommodate me”.
Staff agreed, “It gives people the chance to volunteer within a structure that understands their experiences. We support our volunteers and keep them secure in their roles by having risk assessments and specific training. For example, volunteers have a ‘Right to Refuse’ any demands placed on them that they feel are unrealistic, beyond the scope of the role or that they do not have the skills to carry them out.”
Open Road also builds in feedback sessions and encourages new ideas, “I get a call every three to four months to check how things are going and if I want to give any feedback. There are also group meetings where we have the chance to say how we feel”.
Big thanks and huge respect to all our volunteers for their great work and support. And special congratulations to our HR and Training Officer , Nicola Rosewarne , who ensured the Investors in Volunteers assessment process ran smoothly and successfully for everyone involved.
Image: Paul Hughes, Central Services Director with volunteer, Michaela Smith