November 5 is International Volunteer Managers Day. First celebrated in 1999, the day was developed in order to bring recognition to individual Managers of Volunteers and their roles in the mobilisation and support of the world’s volunteers.
This year in particular has been difficult, especially within the NSW Network of Managers of Palliative Care Volunteer Services. COVID19 has forced most palliative care volunteering to temporarily cease. A shifting horizon for returning to service has created uncertainty and the loss of many long-term volunteers. Managers have had to adapt quickly and find new and socially distant ways to keep their service alive.
Nevertheless, members of the network have proven themselves to be resilient, supportive, creative, and resourceful. They continue to be upbeat in the face of unrelenting upheaval and I am in awe of their fortitude.
To recognise their efforts today we hosted a special network meeting. It was an opportunity to come together for some professional development and to share some space of peer support. It is always a pleasure working with such a dynamic and engaging bunch of people.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank them all for their work, not just on International Volunteer Managers Day but on every day of the year.
About International Volunteer Manager Day – We celebrate the profession of volunteer leadership because:
- Volunteer Managers have the skills and knowledge to help people be part of the solution in meeting community needs. Even in cynical times, they practice the art of the possible.
- Volunteer Managers change lives — both the lives of volunteers themselves and of those served by well-led volunteers. It is a life-changing profession. Volunteer managers provide the leadership and direction that allows people to build a good and just society and to mend the social fabric. Without professional leadership, people’s time, talents and efforts could be wasted.
- A well-run volunteer program shows the community, including potential donors, that the organization is not afraid of public scrutiny and involvement and endeavours to make the most efficient use of monetary assets.
- Well-led volunteers become an advocacy and public relations force for an agency or program — a force no amount of money could buy.
Photo: Screenshot of the special IVMD20 meeting of the NSW Network of Managers of Palliative Care Volunteers