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February 24, 2012

Quality Award presented to the Kildare Volunteer Centre

kildare volunteer centre Kildare Volunteer Centre have achieved the Volunteer Centre Quality Award for their excellent work supporting volunteers and volunteering throughout County Kildare.

In 2007 the national network of Volunteer Centres developed a Quality Standard Framework in order to ensure a minimum quality service is provided to all Volunteer Centre service users, namely volunteers and volunteer-involving organisations. The framework covers the entire work of a Volunteer Centre including governance, management, marketing and administration as well as the core day-to-day work of registering volunteers and supporting organisations to develop quality volunteer opportunities and best practice in volunteer management. A rigorous peer review process has since been developed to evaluate Volunteer Centres against the Quality Standard framework. In addition the peer review process aims to inculcate an attitude and ethos that promotes self-reflection and critical thinking within each volunteer centre.

Since the introduction of the peer review process 11 centres have participated in and are at various stages of completion in attaining the Volunteer Centre Quality Award. Kildare is one of two centres to date to have achieved the award while several others are expected to attain the award over the coming months. Kildare, along with all other centers that have participated in the process, have received feedback and recommendations on ways of enhancing the work of their service.

Terri O’Brien, Quality Standards & Training Officer with Volunteer Ireland said "during the peer review process we were delighted to visit Kildare Volunteer Centre and to witness the great work they are doing. We found the centre to be well run with welcoming, professional and efficient staff. We found the Centre staff to be open and accepting and to have a strong sense of the importance of working with people from all parts of the community and all parts of the county. "

The committee were impressed with Volunteer Centre Manager, Mick Power’s comprehensive knowledge of the social and political context in which the Volunteer Centre works within Kildare. O’Brien said that "we were impressed by the staff’s commitment to the community and voluntary sector through their extensive contributions to a large number of community committees and boards and to their commitment to the network of Volunteer Centres and Volunteer Ireland."