Charity Camp Simcha has been recognised for its good practice in volunteer management with a JVN kitemark.
Volunteers are at the heart of the service provided by the charity, which supports families coping with serious childhood illness. Its Big Brother and Sister volunteers are trained to be special friends for seriously ill children and their siblings – or ‘ambassadors of fun’ in CEO Neville Goldschneider’s words.
“Our volunteers are so important – they visit the children we support on a weekly basis, planning fun activities and also taking them on Camp Simcha outings, joining them at retreat,” explains Mr Goldschneider.
“We know though that this vital job they do isn’t always easy, but our Head of Services and Volunteering, Daniel Gillis, along with the whole team, make it a priority to ensure they get everything they need from us in terms of support, but also that it is an enjoyable and rewarding experience.”
Volunteer Hannah Goldstein said: “While I knew about the work Camp Simcha did and wanted to be part of that, honestly, the reason I contacted them originally was because they have such a good reputation for looking after their volunteers.
“The team are so respectful and appreciative of our time and incredibly flexible which is really important when you are trying to work around a university or work schedule.”
Another volunteer praised the support she received from the charity after the little girl she supported passed away.
She said: “I can honestly say her death was one of the hardest things I have ever dealt with but Daniel and Camp Simcha were with me every step of the way. I remember turning up to the levoyer and I only really knew her parents, but most of the Camp Simcha team were there and they immediately all came over to me and stayed with me.
“I felt so supported in the weeks and months that followed. It was obvious that Daniel and his team prioritise a volunteer’s well-being when the worst happens and that there is an excellent support system in place.”
Awarding the kitemark to Camp Simcha, JVN Head of Volunteering and Deputy Director Lia Bogod said: “I hope you will continue to go from strength to strength in the wonderful way you treat your volunteers.”