ICA is lucky enough to have the support of many amazing volunteers. We could not do what we do without them and we are eternally grateful for the time and effort they put into us and our community. Here are just a couple of them…
Silver Island – Volunteer, Verena
Verena was volunteering in ICA’s front office when we asked if she would mind reviewing our data collection system and recommending improvements, based on her successful career as an accountant. Not long after, Verena took over as Lead Volunteer, coordinating the input and analysis of all of ICA’s quantitative data.
Verena says, “I’ve always enjoyed being busy, so when I moved to Portland I was really keen on getting out, meeting new people and doing something positive for the community. Volunteering seemed the perfect solution.
I was right. Volunteering for ICA can be challenging at times, especially when chasing up volunteers for paperwork. However, I find it amazing that ICA achieves what it does without a staff force of hundreds!
I’m thoroughly enjoying using my skills again to problem solve, creating a working document that can have so many different applications from numbers for evaluation, or monitoring trends to reminding us to send our clients birthday cards!”
The database that Verena created and maintains has revolutionised the way that ICA records and monitors our impact for both volunteers and clients. It has also allowed us to aggregate the sheer volume of interactions and enquiries that we deal with throughout the year into one place. Going forward this type of information will help us to evidence our impact to key statutory decision makers and help build our regular giving and other funding strands.
As a result of Verenas hard work and dedication to a role that many others would find ‘dry and dull,’ ICA’s staff team nominated her as Dorset’s ‘Volunteer of the Year,’ which we are thrilled to report she won.
Silver Island – Volunteer, Keith
Keith signed up as a volunteer driver as he has an interest in engines and cars after a long career in the Royal Navy as a Mechanical Engineer.
In his role Keith has repeatedly shown initiative and interest in how to best maintain and develop our transport services, so it came as no surprise when he volunteered to take the lead on our transport offer.
As part of this role Keith monitors the condition of ICA’s vehicles and completes basic maintenance, like oil, water and tyre checks, alongside ensuring the vehicles remain clean and tidy for passengers.
ICA staff were also able to build upon Keith’s existing strengths and interests by paying for him to attend a special Transporting Disabled Passengers course, which he now cascade trains to our other volunteer drivers.
Keith says, “Finding a volunteer role that fits my interests, skills and lifestyle has been fantastic. It has made me feel like a useful member of my community again. It’s also kept me busy, which is helping to keep me healthy after a serious heart attack that forced me to re-access how I was living.
Through my volunteering role, I’ve also met lots of interesting people, most of whom I wouldn’t have otherwise met. I’ve even got my wife to come and volunteer in the office. It’s made a huge difference to both of us.”