Volunteers can play a range of important roles in your campaign and are a vital way in ensuring the local community is engaged – many local people are concerned about homelessness and want to do something to help end it. There are different ways that people can help, from conducting the street surveys, to data entry and analysis, to delivering campaign activities after the Connections Week or launch.
To plan how many volunteers you require for your first campaign activity, you will need to decide the ‘size’ of your Connections Week. How large is the area that you want to survey and approximately how many people are you likely to survey? The analysis described in ‘Understanding homelessness and housing in your neighbourhood’ will help you answer this question. It is also helpful to look at maps and think through which areas a small team of volunteers could cover in one or two nights.
Once you are clear on the size of your Connections Week , you then need to decide how many volunteers you will require to cover this ground. See 5.1 Guidelines on number of volunteers to help you work this out.
The next step will be to advertise for volunteers. Choose channels and locations for your adverts that will yield the type of people you would like to join this initiative – e.g. local residents, people with particular skills to offer, etc. See ‘Communications‘ for more on how to target your advertising. Once you have people signing up as volunteers, you need to plan their initial welcome emails, role assignments, and training.
Do make sure that you are aware of and adhere to good practice and any legislation relating to volunteering in your city or country and build this into your planning.
Here we provide tools for designing your volunteer needs, recruiting and training volunteers.
5.2 Mapping survey locations and volunteer planning activity – advice, a table and examples.
5.3 Survey locations logistics spreadsheets – a set of tables for you to modify.
5.4 Westminster volunteer recruitment flyer – an example.
5.5 Volunteer email confirmation template – a template for you to modify.
5.6 Westminster Homeless Action Together volunteer handbook (‘WHAT Handbook’) – an example volunteer handbook for you to borrow from.
5.7 Volunteer Connections Week training deck – a powerpoint presentation summarising the campaign and the Connections Week and introducing volunteers to the survey.
5.8 Volunteer data entry training deck – a powerpoint presentation orienting volunteers on how to enter survey data into a database.
5.9 Template volunteer script – for volunteers to use to introduce themselves to each homeless person they interview.
In ‘Survey packs’ we provide the relevant documents you will need to share with your volunteers and team leaders all in one place.
Thank you to Community Solutions for use/adaptation of source materials within this toolkit.