Better one volunteer than three pressed men, so the old naval saying goes, and it’s volunteers who are currently providing a vital resource to help NHS hospitals.
Our NHS trust alone has around 142 volunteers carrying out a range of tasks across the hospital. In the current financial climate these volunteers are proving an important way of freeing up existing staff, making the trust run more efficiently and generally supporting our teams across the hospital.
Earlier this year we were tasked with running a campaign that would help recruit more volunteers, provide some recognition for the valuable work they do and broaden the range of people who were applying.
We wanted a strategy that would show volunteering could be for anyone and tap into a wide range of motivations. We know that people look to volunteering for a number of reasons – some purely altruistic, others to gain experience of healthcare for their future career.
In the end we went with “It’s for everyone” in a campaign that relied heavily on real life case studies from the existing team. We used a range of tactics but focused closely on digital and social to leverage potential volunteers directly or spread the word by recommendation.
We used case studies to raise awareness and attract more (and different types of people) by highlighting the range of different roles you can do.
We also focused on what people get out of it and how it enables them to give something back to community, provide a sense of satisfaction or even valuable experience for future careers in healthcare.
One of the most successful aspects of the campaign was this video where Vivian tells quite an emotional story about why she became a hospital volunteer.
Our buzzfeed style webpage that offered ’10 things you need to know about volunteering’ was also a hit across our social media channels. http://www.qegateshead.nhs.uk/10-things-volunteers
After three weeks there were more than 50 potential recruits at a time when new volunteers were desperately needed
· 2,463 hits on the new volunteering website during the 3 week campaign
· Reached 55,238 people on Facebook.
· More than 29,218 views of our new volunteer video on Facebook
· 206 people looked at our photo board on Pinterest
· 418 likes, shares and comments on social media
· 53 emails from people interested in becoming a volunteer