VSA chief executive Gill Greer says she is delighted to see a VSAConnect initiative to link past and current volunteers underway.

Mentoring project4

VSALink: a toolbox of resources that will hopefully 'engage returned volunteers in continuing to share their experience and skills'.

VSALink: mentoring volunteers’, a scheme to make the experience and resources of former volunteers available to today’s VSAers, was launched in September 2016.

“The idea of a toolbox of templates and technical expertise is something we have discussed for some time,” Gill says. “We hope it will both support current volunteers and engage returned volunteers in continuing to share their experience and skills.”

Many volunteers return to New Zealand with training modules, templates, planning documents, guides and manuals from their assignments. Across many specialist subjects, these could be adapted by current volunteers who might be facing similar challenges in different contexts.

Returned volunteers also have experience, which they are happy to share in an e-mentoring role via email or skype. Returnees who have offered to take part in the scheme to date include Andrew Baker, Tony Bray, Arnold Hawkins, Pat Martin, Dana MacDiarmid, Chris Smart, Dr Hilary Smith and Laurie Williams. The VSALink page on this website has details of their assignment history, areas of expertise and available resources, plus an outline of how it works.

The scheme is now being promoted to serving volunteers and the wider VSA community by programme managers, at briefings and through newsletters and the website. If you are a returned volunteer and would like to be part of it, please email VSAConnect coordinator Pat Martin.