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Friday, 10 October 2014 00:00

Joint Volunteerism Committee - 2 Minute Briefing August 2014

Issue 10: August 2014

Quick snapshot of the priority issues and actions worked through at the most recent Joint Committee meeting between CFA and VFBV. (Meeting held 10/08/14)

VOLUNTEER STRATEGY

Work on the Volunteer Strategy is continuing with input from VFBV with VFBV State Council and Board having had several opportunities to input at a broad level. The draft strategy is still being progressed and is likely to be presented to the CFA Board at their September meeting. Work on the strategy will then continue over the next three to six months, with the focus being to road test and discuss the draft strategy with volunteers more broadly and to get volunteer input into what needs to be done to convert the strategy into real results on the ground. The draft strategy should be available for District & Regional level discussions from October onwards.

VOLUNTEER SUPPORT PROGRAM

CFA have advised that twenty new Volunteerism Co-Ordinators, with one located in each District have commenced and their focus is on co-ordinating and implementing District volunteerism initiatives, aligned to state and local priorities. They now join the members from the Wellbeing Pilot and Brigade Sustainability Pilots, to complete the 60 staff employed under the Volunteer Support Project. VFBV has requested clear and concise communications go out to the field to ensure members understand the role and objectives of each of the three pilot programs & how they will interact & coordinate.

The Committee will now be focussing on evaluating the programs and gaining feedback from volunteers in the field. The feedback we are seeking, amongst other things is the effectiveness of the tools being developed; how they are introduced to Brigades; the Brigade’s accessibility and line of sight to the 60 support officers/staff; and if they are making a difference out in the field on matters important to Brigades and volunteers. The feedback will be used along the way to help improve the projects and will be used during the pilots final evaluation early next year.

With each of these three projects having different roles and reporting streams, it is important that Brigades understand what is available for them and how they access each. If you are unsure what the projects are, or require assistance from any of them, contact your Operations Manager/Officer who has been briefed on the role and function of each stream.

VOLUNTEER SUPPORT PROGRAM - RESOURCES

The Volunteer Support Program is developing and updating many resources and tools for Brigades to use for their benefit. Some of these tools, include attraction, recruitment and retention guides, customisable promotional products, volunteer resources catalogue, online Brigade Leadership HUB, F&EM Roles Pathways Map and an online CFA apparel shop, to name just a few.

VFBV support and encourage these initiatives but also seek to ensure these useful tools and resources are informed by the field, and not developed in isolation. Formal VFBV consultative forums are an important link for the project teams to engage and seek feedback from brigades, and provide opportunities for volunteers to test and review the tools before they are published for accuracy, relevance and ease of use. The Committee believes this is an area that could be improved, as feedback from Brigades is important to ensure that the correct tools, with the correct information are being developed for what Brigades need. The Committee looks forward to greater engagement on these products in the future.

VOLUNTEER SURVEY RESULTS

The VFBV Welfare & Efficiency Survey and CFA’s Volunteer Survey have both been completed, with a combined total of over 4,000 responses. Results from both surveys will be available shortly. The Committee has requested that CFA formulate an action plan to address any areas of weakness, and to promote and build upon any identified strengths.

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CFA Volunteers are the unpaid professionals of our Emergency Services. VFBV is their united voice, and speaks on behalf of Victoria's 60,000 CFA Volunteers.

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