October 1 is 'Older People's day'
Reach reaches out for more ‘Boomers’.
Today marks Older People’s Day, a celebration of the achievements and contributions that older people make to our society and the economy. Reach knows the value of the Baby Boomers and older volunteers first-hand. Reach is a unique charity specialising in the recruitment of skilled volunteers and their placements into suitable roles in charities throughout the UK.
Working and socialising together.
There are over 30 volunteers that work for Reach and like me, most of them are retired although there are enough younger people in the office, including 7 staff, to make a dynamic mix. This is one reason I enjoy volunteering with Reach; old and young get on with each other and help each other to achieve a common purpose. Our objectives are to achieve the annual targets of registering skilled volunteers and successfully placing them with charities throughout the UK. To date we are on track to achieve the targets for 2014 – our weekly internal newsletter produced by my colleague Robin (one of the retiree volunteers in the marketing team) keeps us up-to-date with the latest numbers.
Some volunteers and staff at a party overlooking the Thames in central London
Skills and experience
Older volunteers in Reach use the skills they have built up in their careers whether it is in management, HR, IT, marketing, law or a number of other areas which are valuable in the day- to -day tasks of communicating with potential trustees and volunteers as well as the charities. It is no exaggeration to say but Reach would not exist if it were not for older volunteers eg our IT department is entirely manned by older volunteers.
I was interested to learn more about the ages of the skilled volunteers that we place into charities and we ran a report from our data base. It turned out that nearly half of the skilled volunteers Reach placed in the 12 months ending July 2014 were over 54 years of age and over 20% of all volunteers are over 65 years old.
Loyal and committed to the cause
If the volunteers in Reach are anything to go by, then loyalty is easily demonstrated in older volunteers. Nearly all the retired volunteers in Reach have been engaged longer than I have (our colleague James in the matching team has been here the longest; he started in 1997, 17 years ago!) and in the three years I’ve been here no-one has left!
What’s next for Reach?
As well as celebrating Reach’s 35th birthday at the moment (you can read more about what we have planned) we are also in the process of changing our web-based service which we expect will increase the volume of skilled volunteers across the UK. Read more about this development of an online hub. This is an exciting development in Reach’s history which we hope will attract old and young volunteers alike. I look forward to seeing you on there!
Volunteer Marketing Assistant