Investing in Volunteers is the UK quality standard for best practice Volunteer Management and Our Parklife successfully received the accreditation in May 2017. Assessments take place every three years and on the 29th January 2021, we found out that Our Parklife was successful in gaining the renewal after a reassessment process that took place throughout 2020.
Throughout the year, we worked on ensuring that all our processes and procedures were consistent with quality standards and provided evidence to demonstrate to the assessor the amazing contribution that Park Champions make on the Park. From Customer and Mobility Services, Conservation and Biodiversity, Events, to Community Guiding and Educational activities, volunteers are at the heart of what we do! Since 2015 over 1,700 volunteers have contributed over 76,000 hours to the Park and wider community.
The lockdowns have been very challenging for us all and adjusting to the ‘new normal’ has not been easy. Thankfully we have technology to bring us together and we’ve brought the Park to volunteers through webinars, quizzes and step-up challenges. It felt very special to see Park Champions act as a real family, motivating each other, inspiring each other and the efforts of everyone are reflected in this accreditation.
During the three assessment days, over 50 volunteers were interviewed from all parts of the programme as well as staff and Our Parklife Board members. Feedback was glowing, and we couldn’t be prouder of our team of volunteers. We wanted to thank our Park Champions for their passion for the Park, enthusiasm and energy.
Jamie Quinn, Our Parklife’s Chairman said “We are so proud of maintaining our Investing in Volunteers Quality Standard, it demonstrates the commitment we make to providing volunteering experiences to the highest of standards. Volunteers are integral to our communities, and the hard work and thousands of hours that Park Champions contribute to the Park is appreciated by all who visit. We also know that people volunteer for so many different reasons and are so pleased we can provide such a range of opportunities for local people to get involved in fun, rewarding, meaningful experiences.”
Claire Smith, Investing in Volunteers assessor said “It was an absolute pleasure working with Our Parklife. Volunteers are very proud to be part of what the Park represents, and the commitment and passion that shone through when speaking to both staff and volunteers was truly incredible. The Park is clearly an important part of many people’s lives. The volunteer management team should also be commended for the efforts taken during the current pandemic to continue engaging with volunteers, to keep them informed about what was being done to make the Park safe upon their return, and for ensuring that every volunteer was offered the lifeline of regular welfare calls. I am looking forward to visiting the Park when it is safe to do so!”