The Skill Based Volunteer Training Programme (SBVTP)

What is the Skill Based Volunteer Training Programme (SBVTP)?
 

The Skill Based Volunteer Training Programme (SBVTP) offers the opportunity for volunteers to undergo training within an organisation so as to maximize their capacity, develop new, latent and/or dormant skills and to facilitate their involvement within the local and wider civil society.  

The SBVTP is a training programme that enhances the qualities, skills and competence of the volunteers across a range of opportunities, operating under direct and/or indirect supervision. The programme is premised on three principles. The first is that those who engage volunteers are able to support the volunteers; secondly, that volunteers enter a particular working ‘environment’ that has particular codes and practices, all of which will need to be understood in order to get the most out of the ‘experience’; thirdly, that all volunteers are motivated to give their time and in so doing bring with them particular strengths and skills, which can go unrecognised (i.e. their ‘leadership’ competence). Furthermore, the experience should enable new skills to be developed . Fig 1 provides a useful diagrammatic at-a-glance overview.


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In broad terms, the training programme seeks to explore understandings and skill development including, for example, organisational management, planning, communication and teamwork.  It is envisaged to be fun, practical and reflective with no formal entrance qualification requirements or final examinations to sit. Other than the introductory sessions, the overall programme is experiential and developmental.

Objectives

1. To develop participant’s skills in planning, delivery and evaluation of projects;
2. To develop fund-raising and event management skills as a team  member within the organisation of choice;
3. To introduce and stimulate the development of research and needs analysis skills within participants;
4. To provide opportunities to explore own career pathways as well as better understanding of the qualities and competences required to work within the particular volunteering setting.



Fig 1: Programme overview

  

The Units


The programme comprises:
 

1. Management of volunteers
 

2. Understanding the organisation
 

3. Communication and presentation skills
 

4. Planning and evaluating an event
 

5. Organising a fund-raising event
 

6. Monitoring and evaluating the volunteer programme
 

7. Placement experience: presentation and/or fund-raising event


The Shane Project: a case study

In February 2012 The Shane Project secured funding from the Enfield Youth Service’s Area Youth Forum to pilot an outreach volunteering support provision. The first programme took place between April and May 2012 (see report).

The aim of the programme was to train young people in presentation and communication skills as part of the Shane Project’s Outreach Awareness Programme (OAP) to highlight amongst young people, in particular, the impact and implications of living with Multiple Sclerosis (MS).  FW Business Ltd was approached to pilot the training programme, which would equip the participants with the necessary key skills as volunteers within the hosting organisation.


As a result of the success of the first programme, the Youth Service supported a second programme through the Shane Project which took place between October and December 2012. The second programme built on the lessons of the first and introduced alongside the OAP objectives the opportunity for young people to contribute to the fund raising efforts within the project by being trained as ‘fund raisers’ (i.e. Fund Raising Activities Programme - FRAP).


The aim was to train a group of young people between the ages of 16 – 25yrs to deliver a series of presentations and/or workshop sessions in schools, colleges, community-based organisations and youth centres/projects as part of the OAP and to deliver a fund raising event or campaign in support of the Shane Project as part of the FRAP.


Outcomes

 

Click on slideshow to enlarge

Overwhelmingly participants reported that they felt more confident and found the programme valuable. 100% of participants rated the communication and presentation skills component as ‘good’ or ‘excellent’.

Before coming on to the programme participants reported not feeling confident in giving public talks or formal presentations. Participants indicated that they wanted to improve their communication skills and especially presentation skills. Arising from the Brick Wall evaluation exercise, participants reported that they found the programme helpful in a number of ways including:

  • The importance of being organised;

  • Being able to see and reflect on own communication and presentation style;

  • Being able to see themselves as others see them, especially when giving public talks;

  • The importance of ‘practice’ to their own understanding (e.g. the Implication of Living with MS homework task).


Comments such as the following provided further evidence of key areas of learning:

  • Talked to family and friends about MS

  • I am more understanding about the conditions of MS

  • My presentation skills have changed after the programme. I now have a better understanding and I know what to do next time.

  • Learned a lot about MS which I didn't know about before.

One of the outcomes of the first programme was recognising the role of young people in supporting the fund-raising strategy of the Shane Project (and other organisations for that matter).  Participants planned and pitched a fund-raising ‘group project’ to the senior ‘Management Team’ of the Shane Project. The following comment aptly summarised what participants told us they got out of the training:

“Helping [us] to fundraise so that [we] can help others as well as ourselves “

 

 

Where now our youth: A mentor/role model Induction Training Programme

 

Transition into adulthood is a life changing experience characterised by hope and raised aspiration counter-balanced with self doubt, social and psychological dislocation and trauma. Research and studies have shown that mentoring/role model developments can play an important role in the transitional process in raising self-esteem, motivation and attainment. Many have shown that effective mentoring/role model programmes are those that are able to reshape social behaviour and raise confidence over contact periods lasting 6 – 12months and crucially, where the match between the mentor and the mentee is based on interest and need rather than just on gender or ethnic grounds. Additionally, the balance between formal and informal approaches within mentoring and role model programmes, linked to an effective training and support arrangement, have also been identified as strong indicators of programme effectiveness.[1]

 

The SBVTP (Mentoring) framework was developed as an Induction programme for potential (and existing) volunteers wishing to become mentors/role models. It provides the opportunity for volunteers to be trained to inspire and motivate young people to be the best they can and in so doing, raise aspiration and achievement. It seeks, first and foremost, to induct and recognise volunteers as a ‘Mentor/Role Model’ within the organisation they are involved with.

 

The Making Men Mentor Project is a new initiative of BANG Edutainment[2], as part of the Mayor of London’s Mentor Programme (MMP). The revised MMP programme aims to recruit 1000 mentors to work with black boys over a three year period (2011 – 2014). BANG was successful in securing funding from this programme to work with young black boys aged 10 – 16yrs struggling at school or who may be at risk of offending. The Making Men Project provides 12 months mentoring relationships to 190 boys in the London Borough of Brent.

 

The SBVTP (Mentor Induction Programme) is based on the following support and development approach:

 

  • Induction training programme: this is delivered against the Skill Based Volunteer Training Programme (SBVTP) framework. This is a one-and-a-half day introductory programme to ‘mentoring’. 

  • Matching Process: following the induction training days participants are then matched with their mentee. 

  • Match meeting feedback: this phase of the process will take place shortly after the first match meeting, to provide feedback on their first session so as to help mentors reflect on the initial engagement to embed learning from the induction through and into the actual mentor/mentee relationship.

  • Mentor support: quarterly up-skilling and support sessions as part of the on-going support and development approach.

 

 

Making Men Mentor Project: Case Study 2

 

The BANG induction programme is delivered against three broad Modules with each Module sub-divided into Units, which forms the basis for each training session within the programme as follows:

 

1.  Managing the mentoring process:

  •  Management of volunteers: The mentoring/role model Programme

2.  Organisational awareness and understanding:

  • Understanding the organisation

  •  Planning and delivery (role and qualities of a mentor)

3.  Skill based leadership (mentorship):

  • Communication and presentation skills

  • Monitoring and evaluation of the mentoring/role model programme

  • Placement experience: matching and sustaining the relationships

 

Evaluation responses

 

Six cycles of the Induction programme have been undertaken since April 2013, representing thirty-seven (37) volunteers.  Key features are:

 

  • 59% were male participants

  • 68% were black, 24% white and 8% Asian

  • 100% of respondents reported that they found the programme to be ‘Good’ or ‘Excellent’

  • 97% reported that their expectations were met

  • Participant’s level of understanding and awareness had improved by 23.8%.

 

Representative feedback responses from participants include:

 

  • Learnt to gain the mentee’s trust and how to get mentee’s to open up;

  • I learnt a lot around the statistics of where young people are ending up. The statistics were really helpful.

  • The Tools and the games we were playing; I didn’t expect the training to be so good. I thought the programme was excellently delivered

  • I wasn’t 100% sure what I was getting into and now feel equipped to commit to the 12months process.

 

For further insight into the programme, click here to obtain the most recent evaluation report.

 

Please email contactus@fwbusinessltd.com for a discussion on your needs.

 

 


 

[1] See Herrera, Grossman et al (2007), Making a Difference in schools: the Big Brothers Big Sisters school Based mentoring impact study, Public/Private Ventures: June

 

[2] BANG Edutainment is a registered charity creating opportunities and improving the lives of young people, addressing youth social exclusions through positive activities, training and information, advice and guidance.

 

 

 

 

 

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