England & Wales Communities and society, Personal and organisational development

Seminar: Working and supporting volunteers & community champions: the benefits to individuals, communities and councils


Reductions in public spending and fewer resources for communities means that volunteering is one solution to maintaining community links and building community and neighbourhood capacity. The potential of volunteers and community champions are not to be underestimated. The possibilities are numerous: from low-level volunteering to community researchers that add local knowledge to consultation. Building a strong volunteer base requires careful planning before starting the recruitment process.

This seminar takes delegates through the questions & processes that make for a strong and effective volunteer and community champion programme.

Key Outcomes:

  • Understanding the role of volunteers and what they can offer
  • How to manage and get the most out of volunteers
  • How to recruit volunteers
  • Safeguarding and training needs
  • Look at developing a job description for volunteers
  • Understanding the pitfalls.


09:30   Registrations and Refreshments

10:00   Introductions – volunteering bingo

10:15   What is a volunteer and what roles should they take on? Why do you want to work with volunteers? What do you have to offer?

10:30   Have you considered the benefits of volunteers and the work they will take on – 2 person exercise – what can you offer? What do you need?

11:00   What makes someone volunteer?

Refreshment Break

11:30   What is the difference between participation, engagement and consultation? – group exercise

12:00   Working with volunteers and the difference from managing paid staff

Working with vulnerable volunteers

(Disabled, young people and offenders )

Recruiting volunteers:

  • Voluntary organisations
  • Social media
  • Word of mouth
  • Mapping

12:30   Lunch 

13:15   Community champions – the voice of their community and how you utilise that.   Group exercise: Where can your volunteers work within their community? Placements and safe venues

13:30   Health and safety and safeguarding – group exercise -what should you put in place to protect your volunteer and yourself?

14:00   Training needs and support for volunteers – keep it simple and real

Developing a group of volunteers and helping them to help develop their own structures – minute taking, committee skills, writing a constitution and group rules

14:20   Skills analysis and the things a volunteer brings to the table – develop a ‘job description’ that fits your project

14:30   Tools you may need to train your volunteers – PA, Social media.

14:45   Help them to see their progress- a diary, a needs assessment or gathering information

15:00   Pitfalls – what to consider and be mindful of

15:15   Supporting their needs- considering personalities and getting the best from skills they have – Group exercise- you are the volunteer, what do you bring to the table, how can you fit into an organisation and what should the officer consider?

15:45   Close


Maxine Moar has been involved in building local and national community engagement policies for over 17 years.  She has been consulting communities and using the results to work with partner organisations and elected members throughout that time and her work has been nationally recognised. She has worked with successive Ministers and Home Secretaries during her role with The Home Office, as well as with the Department for Communities and Local Government.  Her work with volunteers and community champions as gained National recognition for both Maxine and the communities she has supported and empowered.

Community Engagement

Maxine Moar also runs two more sessions on community engagement on participatory appraisals and community agreements.  For more information please click the links below:

Participatory Appraisals

Community Agreements

Who should attend?
  • Elected Members
  • Community engagement staff
  • Managers who work with the community and manage front line staff
  • Officers in local authorities, housing associations and other front line agencies