We have always held regular volunteer socials – a way for volunteers to meet us, each other and any of our local partners able to attend. But what to do during lockdown? Like everything else, we decide to move our social events online – and what a successful move this turned out to be!
‘A very positive afternoon. It achieved what it set out to do, allowing those familiar with the projects to delve a little deeper and express their views candidly, and those new to the projects to explore first hand what is involved. It was also very nice to meet up with people of like mind. So a big thumbs up from us!’ (Bob and Maggie)
We held two online social events during February – there was a great turnout at each, a good mix of past, present and prospective volunteers, and both were over-subscribed. Both events had a real international flavour, as unlike our regular socials partners and volunteers from outside the UK could easily join in – at our first social on February 4th we welcomed three of our partners from The Gambia, Morocco and Cambodia and managed to work around a 7 hour time difference; at our second social we welcomed four local partners, including South Africa, and volunteers from Europe as well as the UK. So these were much more inclusive events than we have ever been able to achieve in the past.
We started all together in the main room for introductions and updates, and attendees then had the option of staying in the main room or moving to different rooms representing the different countries where we are working at the moment. Local partners led the discussions in these rooms, ably assisted by previous and current volunteers. Movement between these rooms was totally flexible – attendees could choose whether to move between rooms and they could move whenever they liked. We all gathered together again at the end for questions and to say goodbye.
For a flavour of the two social events take a look at our video – just a taste of the discussions that took place in the different rooms
‘I just wanted to say THANK YOU for organising the Virtual Social Event. It was a great opportunity to meet other volunteers, local partners and both of you. I’d like to also say thank you for being so welcoming on the call, and I really appreciate the effort it took to organise the event.’ (Tilly)
To learn more about how you could volunteer with us without leaving home take a look here
We are already planning our next online social – in April. Look out for the date and come and join us!