The Supporting Volunteers Award

If your organisation hosts volunteers then you can use the VANEL Supporting Volunteers Award (SVA) to assess the way you operate against best practices in volunteer management.

Or if you are a volunteer then if an organisation holds an SVA accreditation then you can quickly know that the volunteering experience you’ll have with that organisation has been assessed to meet good standards and you can expect a good experience.

VANEL introduced the SVA back in 2012 as a cost-effective, locally managed way to check how a volunteer hosting organisation met standards of good practice and to help organisations raise their own standards to meet SVA.

SVA continues to be adopted by local charities and other organisations hosting volunteers.

Visit the SVA website here

If you are an organisation and thinking of applying for SVA, upgrading from SVA1 to SVA2, or want to refresh your SVA – look here for more information.

You can always contact Jacky Birkett or Karl Elliott at VANEL to discuss SVA further.

SVA is available at two levels – standard SVA 1 which ensure all your practices are valid, and SVA 2 which stretches you further to demonstrate excellence in volunteer hosting.

Prices for SVA range from £75-£200 depending upon level and whether your organisation is a VANEL member or a Volunteer Development Service (VDS) subscriber.

A variety of training courses related to good volunteer management are available.

The Supporting Volunteers Award was developed by Voluntary Action North East Lincolnshire’s (VANEL) Volunteer Service in response to feedback from volunteers and volunteering involving organisations.

The following issues were most commonly raised: 

  • Volunteers felt that they needed a voice.
  • Volunteers felt that they needed support.
  • Some organisations were not responding to enquiries about volunteering within the recommended 7 day period.
  • Volunteers said they wanted more structure within their supervision and one to one support
  • Some organisations needed additional support or a method of communicating regularly with their teams without creating too much extra work
  • Some volunteers are not covered by Public Liability insurance in the event of an accident.

Why should you achieve SVA?

  • The Supporting Volunteers Award can be used either as a springboard for national quality assurance awards, such as PQASSO or Investing in Volunteers, or as a way of organising your documents in preparation for bids.
  • Most importantly, SVA ensures you have the documentation and procedures to keep your volunteers and service users safe AND happy.

The Supporting Volunteers Award identifies organisations which demonstrate good practice in managing their volunteers, including:

  • Both volunteers and organisations have a voice and adequate support in place
  • Volunteering is mutually beneficial to both the volunteer and the organisation
  • Volunteers are contacted within 7 days of being referred to an organisation
  • Volunteers have appropriate supervision and adequate instruction
  • Volunteers are covered by Public Liability Insurance in the event of an accident
  • Organisations conform to current best practice, and most importantly, can prove it!

We strongly believe that SVA is the way forward and clearly demonstrates that we are all working towards the same goals in order to provide a safe, enjoyable environment for ALL volunteers.

Contact the Volunteer Service for further information, or download information and registration documents here:

SVA Information Brochure
SVA Expression of Interest
SVA Registration Form

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