We are delighted to share the amazing news that Healthwatch Portsmouth alongside Help & Care has achieved the Investors in Volunteers (IIV) award.

We were assessed in 2020 by NCVO (National Council for Voluntary Organisations) against key standards including: volunteer involvement, commitment to our volunteers, communication, satisfaction and many more.

Some of our strengths at Help & Care included:

Our expressed commitment to the involvement of volunteers, and recognition throughout the organisation that volunteering is a two-way process which benefits volunteers and the organisation.

Our strong commitment to ensuring that volunteers had their own needs met.

Our help to fulfil their reasons for volunteering; considerable flexibility as to how volunteers can contribute with no pressure to do more than they want to; scope to develop different ways of getting involved based on issues that mattered to them.

Volunteers said that they felt valued in their roles and gave examples of the different ways in which staff expressed their appreciation of their contribution.

Our Chief Executive Mark Sharman commented:

“I came into this job through volunteering and so the ethos, value of volunteering for your community is close to my heart. I was struck by a quote in the report, from one of our volunteers, which sums it up better than I could. ‘Localism, community-ism – there’s something very special about people working together to make their locale a better place.’  Help & Care vision is for People and Communities living the lives they choose.  Volunteers are central to this. Thank you to all our wonderful, diverse, and committed Volunteers and Volunteer Leads.  You are central to us making a difference.”

Emma Leatherbarrow, Director of Partnerships, also commented:

“Volunteers make an enormous difference to what we are able to achieve for people and communities. As an organisation, we have involved volunteers for many years and on a wide range of different projects, including our Healthwatch services. However, a review of our arrangements for their recruitment, support and deployment was overdue.

Over the past two years, a small team has worked with our fantastic volunteers to understand what they like about their roles, what support they value from us and where we can improve. We committed to the Investing in Volunteers programme as we knew it would sharpen our focus and provide an invaluable ‘external eye’ on our work.

We are absolutely delighted to have achieved the award and would like to thank all our amazing volunteers who have supported us through the process and who make such a difference to what we are able to achieve for people and communities”.

This is a huge achievement for us at Healthwatch Portsmouth and Help & Care, we will wear the IIV award with pride!

Investing in Volunteers (IiV) is the UK quality standard for good practice in volunteer management. To find out more, visit their website here.