Motivating Wheels For All Volunteers

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Wheels For All centres that offer more interesting and productive roles find it easier to keep and retain volunteers.

Volunteer Motivations

People volunteer for a variety of reasons therefore some opportunities attract people with certain motivations more than others.

  • To share their skills, knowledge, and experience.
  • To give something back and make a difference.
  • To get out of the house and reduce loneliness.
  • To improve their CV for future employment.
  • To meet new people and make friends.
  • To receive training or accreditation.
  • To have fun and enjoy themselves.
  • To solve a community problem.
  • To try out a new career choice.
  • To experience something new.
  • To feel useful and wanted.
  • To gain work experience.
  • To build confidence.
  • To learn new skills.
  • To help others.

Ensuring that your Wheels For All roles meet the volunteer’s needs of why they started and continue volunteering, it’s also worth mentioning that volunteer’s motivations change over time, so it’s worth investing time with your volunteers to find out if they have any new motivating needs and if you’re meeting them.

Sustain and create motivating roles

Involve volunteers and staff in the planning process to identify volunteer roles and tasks so that they are meaningful for the volunteer and the Wheels For centre.

Make sure that volunteer tasks are appropriate and need doing; they should be interesting, rewarding and challenging so that enthusiasm and commitment provides good results.

Make sure the volunteering role and tasks, which are carried out by someone who wants to do it, match the role of the volunteer’s skills, interests, and passion.

Make sure the volunteers know what they are doing; what are the goals of the role? How will it help the volunteer and the Wheels For All centre?

The results are visible; if the volunteer cannot see how they are making a difference, they may lose enthusiasm. The results could be fixing a bike, double figure in attendees or an extra lap around the park with a participant.

Make sure the volunteer has ownership of their role/task individually or as part of a team; the volunteer has a sense of personal responsibility and pride for their area. (e.g., welcoming participants, maintaining bikes or the maintenance shed)

Decision making ability; volunteers should be involved in the planning, deciding and evaluation process of their volunteering role of tasks.

Volunteers should receive some feedback; to recognise their achievements, explore areas of development and plan next steps.

By Tom Glynn, National Volunteer Coordinator – Cycling Projects

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