Earlier this year, we invited our volunteer community to complete a survey related to their experience volunteering at the Roulant. This opportunity for collaboration between staff and volunteers was designed to better understand what it means to be a volunteer at Santropol Roulant. We wanted your opinion on what we could do to continue to make the volunteer experience better aligned with our core values.
Before presenting the findings, we want to thank you, our dear volunteer community, for your committed collaboration and generosity. The time that you took to reflect on your experience is greatly appreciated and allows us to better serve the community.
Let’s dive into the results! We were happy to receive such a high level of engagement with the survey in just a few short weeks, with a grand total of 115 participants. We have volunteers across multiple programs, but the survey focused on the experience of people who volunteer in the context of our Meals-on-Wheels service.
The results also noted the range in duration of your involvement with the Roulant, from just a few weeks for some to over ten years for others. While the Roulant is a community that has no minimum commitment for volunteer engagement, it is a second home for many.
Our community is a space for gathering and sharing. In asking you if you had developed lasting connections with other members of the Roulant, we were reminded that many of you have been volunteering with the Roulant for over six months. This lasting connection was reflected in your level of comfort with other members of the community, whether they be other volunteers, staff, or clients.
The large majority of you expressed that you feel comfortable with other volunteers and the staff at the Roulant because of the environment fostering respect, confidence, and meaningful interactions between individuals. While the pandemic limited opportunities for the Roulant’s community to gather, we are actively working to bring back opportunities to bring people together.
Almost everyone who participated in the survey expressed feeling comfortable in their interactions with clients, although some volunteers did report feeling slightly uncomfortable. Because this is an important indicator of the well-being of our community, we strive to help make people feel more at home in these spaces. We would like to take this opportunity to remind you that if you ever feel uneasy, you are encouraged to communicate your concerns with the Safer Spaces committee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In terms of learning in the context of the Roulant, many of you expressed appreciation for the opportunity to be exposed to differing lived realities. Developing strong connections with the clients and other members of the community is certainly one of the most important elements of the volunteer experience at the Roulant. Hard skills, whether they be developed through work in the kitchen or in our agricultural spaces, are also important aspects of the educational aspects associated with volunteering. Hearing first hand from our volunteers that they value what they have learnt through their time with the Roulant is a positive reflection on our role in the community.
Please know that, although it is not all outlined here, we are taking the constructive feedback seriously and are working to make your experience even more enriching.
We thank you for your inspiring generosity and your admirable commitment. You are such a wonderful community!
– Charlie and the Meals-on-Wheels team