Like everywhere, this month has seen us adapt to the changing environment we find ourselves in following the COVID-19 pandemic. Accordingly, lots of the month has involved scenario planning and re-evaluating our aims and objectives for the coming months. Despite this, we have still managed to employ our Housing Buddies, grow the researcher team further and begin to make plans for future volunteering opportunities too.
Our Housing Buddies have been helping the broker team with welfare calls and check ins with clients. This has been tremendously helpful and appreciated all round.
We have also managed to arrange our first group Knowledge Exchange call by Zoom. That call brought together our buddies and broker team to share experience, ideas and knowledge between themselves. About the call, our Head of Casework Services, Olivia Lindsay, said:
It was great to get together with the Housing Buddies and share our experiences of the housing sector. The Housing Buddies bring such a wealth of knowledge and it’s an amazing resource for our Brokers to be able to tap into.Olivia Lindsay, Head of Casework Services – HOS
Plans are in place to schedule regular catch ups between the staff team and volunteers to continue to grow our networks and build up our collective knowledge.
This month we have welcomed a further 2 volunteers to the team – Heather Campbell and Paula Cleary. Heather will be working on a guide for North Lanarkshire with us; Paula on guides for Renfrewshire and East Renfrewshire. You can read more about our volunteers here.
We have also begun a process of peer support with the research volunteers where Tessa – who has completed our Edinburgh guide – has been offering email advice and support to the new volunteers about their research.
As our Volunteer and Engagement manager, Ben has worked on writing new induction processes for the volunteer roles, gathering feedback from the current volunteer team. The role descriptions, handbooks and support sites for the volunteering are now all updated.
We also have plans to launch a volunteer research project looking at provisions made for people with learning disabilities in different Housing Association allocations policies. Watch this space!