Listen to Katie on growing our volunteer base

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Katie Janota, Transition Bath’s Coordinator and Mentor for volunteer liaison, recently gave a talk for Transition Together as a part of a series of Transition Skillshare talking about the approaches that Transition Bath has used for the recruitment of more members and volunteers.

Katie talked about how she has increased our volunteer numbers by more than double using a ‘three-pronged’ approach: ‘do stuff, recruit, then do more stuff’.

Events that have taken place – some collaborative and some run by Transition Bath – included a community picnic in August, and in September a walking festival, a Green Screen showing, and an Extraordinary Earth Day event, held at Bath Abbey. In October the events calendar included a series of six mini talks on sustainable issues at The Packhorse Inn in South Stoke, called Sustainable Shorts, which brought an impressive audience of 70 people. There was also involvement in a Unite to Survive event in Royal Victoria Park and a Foraging Walk introducing participants to wild plants, explaining how to recognise them and how they can be used as ingredients in food preparation. November saw Transition Bath’s participation in a weekend long event, Green Open Homes, where people were invited to visit the homes of those who had introduced measures both big and small to make their homes more energy efficient. This month also saw a Climate Café discussion event where visitors could share their concerns and anxieties about the implications of the climate emergency and talk about things they could do to make a difference.

Katie also explained the different routes that she had used for advertising volunteer roles – from posting roles through the Student Union at the University of Bath to reaching out to volunteers through our local council’s publication Simply Connect. Once volunteers had been recruited, Katie explained how it was important to bring them in and interview them while their motivation was strong, to provide each volunteer with a mentor and to ensure that they were able to get the most out of the work they are doing with our charity. Most of all it was clear that recruiting volunteers in a charity that relies on them to operate is not something that you can tick off a list – it is a process that needs constant evaluation and support, and reinvention as projects change direction and new projects emerge.

Thank you Katie for telling our story and sharing your techniques for bringing in new volunteers to the Transition Bath family!

We will be advertising for new volunteers soon, so watch out on our volunteer opportunity page, and contact us at any time if you feel you’d like to join us.

Check out the TransitionTowns YouTube channel for the full talk (Transition Skillshare – Recruiting more members and volunteers).