Volunteering Information – Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
Q. Why do BOSF want this information?
A. The primary purpose for collecting information about BOSF members volunteering is to provide information on the value of volunteers to parks and support the public liability insurance policies that groups have that are paid for by BCC Parks. These policies allow you to carry out manual gardening and conservation tasks on site without having Rangers or other parks staff with you.
Q. Why don’t you want information for activities carried out with Rangers?
A. We want to make collecting this information as easy as possible and the Rangers already collect this information when you are working with them.
Q. What sort of activities should we record?
A. You can record any activities that supports your group or any activities you do on site, these can include meetings, creating notices, putting up posters, school visits, litter picking, leaf clearing, path sweeping, weeding, pruning, woodland work, planting, etc. if in doubt record it. Traveling to a site we’re afraid doesn’t count however we are aware of the distances some volunteers do travel and our “Celebrating Volunteering” articles in our newsletter may be a good place to tell these stories.
Q. What about recording Active Parks activities?
A. You don’t need to record people who are taking part in the activities (like the Ranger led events Active Parks will record these). But if you have volunteers that support active parks sessions then please record these hours.
Q. How should we record this information?
A. Gathering this information can be done however you want, using any form you want to use (you can use ours). BUT this is the important bit – when you submit your form (email it to us) we need you to use our form please.
We have created a very simplified form for you to use. We need one form for each month for each site. If nothing happened during a month, then you can send back a “nil” return
We are no longer trying to gather demographic information (age, ethnicity, sex) alongside the volunteering activities and hours. We still think this information is important but we will return to gathering this at a later stage.
We do also need the number of unique volunteers who worked with you during the month as well.
Q. We aren’t sure it’s worth the work. Is it worth it?
A. We have used the figures provided to us from the Ranger Service around volunteering to support the importance of green space and the volunteers that help keep them and share them with others. We know this is only part of the story and we would like to be able to give people a wider picture of what is happening. The information you gather will also support anything that you are doing for funding bids or reporting back to committees etc. It also does help you to see just how much time and effort you are all putting into managing your sites.
You do also receive £10.00 per site per month to help cover the costs of gathering and submitting the information.
Q. We’ve got lots of different forms, which one should we use?
A. We are going to be using the simple version going forward. Again you can use any form you want to gather information if you need to do this differently. BUT please only use the attached simplified version of the form to send to us.
We only need:
- Date of activity (or put “everyday” if an activity happens every day).
- Type of activity (please be general not specific, i.e. meeting, gardening, visit)
- Number of people on the day (per activity type)
- Number of hours for those volunteers
- Total number of hours per activity per day = number of people x number of hours
- Total number of unique volunteers for that month
That’s it – that’s all we need.
If you need any support then please let us know at [email protected]