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Closing down: What to do if you involve volunteers

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Volunteers will be a key group to keep informed and involved throughout the closure process. You can seek their ideas and feedback about the closure process. Be honest about any changes to volunteering and ask volunteers to be flexible about the tasks you may need their help with.

You may need to consider whether you have capacity for your current volunteering programme when closing. Remember that volunteers need specific communication and support. You may need to reduce the opportunities early in the closure process if you become unable to offer safe and supportive placements.

In many organisations, volunteers have a connection to the organisation and a history of engagement. This can be quite different to staff’s relationships with the organisation. You’ll need to be sensitive about how volunteers are informed and engaged during the closure.

For some volunteers, your organisation may play an important part of their social lives and connection with others. They may experience feelings of fear and loss from the closure.

The organisation may be a key provider of care and support for them either formally or informally. You should actively consider whether any volunteer may be made vulnerable by the closure of the organisation and if so how you can support the transition.

This may include other volunteers offering further peer support. You should also consider signposting to other organisations who might be able to support them going forward.

Volunteer Centres are organisations that provide support and expertise within the local community. They can help potential volunteers, existing volunteers and organisations that involve volunteers. You may want to approach your local volunteer centre to help your current volunteers find new volunteering opportunities.

Last reviewed: 07 July 2023

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This page was last reviewed for accuracy on 07 July 2023

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