It is no secret that the National Health Service is planning some big things to celebrate its 70th Birthday, including two leading projects: The cultural history of the NHS and The NHS at 70. Collectively, these celebrations coincide with the bigger movement to increase volunteering within the NHS and David Cameron’s Big Society.

The excitement for such celebration and the increasing role of volunteers within hospital trusts made it fitting to share the experience of NHS Pennine Acute Trust developing its voluntary workforce through TeamKinetic’s volunteer management software.

A few years ago, NHS Pennine Acute Trust acknowledged its current method of volunteer management, which used a basic version of Microsoft access, was becoming outdated and limited in its capacity to effectively manage and engage volunteers.

Exploring the options available became the responsibility of Jo McCallister, Volunteer Service Manager, at the Trust. Recognising that social health volunteering is different to other voluntary sectors, with a much more rigorous recruitment process, including the processing of DBS and additional documentation, required due to the nature of work, a system that was capable of supporting this process was essential. Jo also understood to create a strong, reliable and motivated workforce the software needed to provide effective channels of communication:

“Creating strong lines of communication is essential to any engaged team, more so in the voluntary sector as you have to understand what the volunteer is seeking and if you  able to fulfil their desire through an opportunity”

When searching the different volunteer management software systems available, TeamKinetic was “a stand out product, with a fresh and easy to use interface” prompting Jo to explore it further. With key features that surpassed the capabilities of the previous management method, such as logging hours, personalised and group emails, links to social media and the ability to upload additional documentation, the TeamKinetic software was an ideal match for the Trust.

To date, the TeamKinetic volunteer management software has successfully assisted in the recruitment of 550 volunteers, of which 90% are actively volunteering. Jo relates the success of the volunteering programme to everyday improvement the software has made: “Day in, day out, we know what we are doing, what our volunteers are doing and what needs to be done”.  Being able to have a structured system in place has made her job and those in her department much easier. It also provides a sense of security and continuity with new or alternative administrators able to pick up the system quickly and easily if required.

The multi-tier system, between volunteers, admins and opportunity providers, benefits all of those involved. By devolving the workload of information input, documentation upload, opportunity posting, the collection of feedback and generating reporting, it reduces the workload on volunteer managers. This saved time can then be used more effectively in building those interpersonal relationships with volunteers. Furthermore, volunteers are able to access and view opportunities online, which appeal to the growing amount of younger volunteers, with a quarter being under the age of 25, and for those older volunteers the system requires little to no training. Commenting on the experience of using TeamKinetic:

“we definitely advocate the benefits of TeamKinetic. As volunteering evolves so to must the system used to manage it. You need a system that is live and up to date, which TeamKinetic definitely does.

The team is very receptive to feedback. They listen to your thoughts and suggestions, putting them on your own wish list. They then see if it feasible and would benefit other volunteer managers, and then add it to the software’s roadmap for future inclusion.

We highly recommend you get one of the team to speak to you about how TeamKinetic can improve your volunteer management, or get in touch with us at NHS Pennine to see how we are benefiting from the software each day”

To learn more about TeamKinetic’s volunteer management software and how it could help your trust celebrate the NHS 70th Birthday or any other voluntary workforce needs please contact one of our team.

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