Sunday, 10 July 2011

Volunteers' Day - The Chance to Say Thank You

Although the most important thing discussed on volunteers’ day was the need for change, it was certainly not the only thing. Jeremy Duggan and the office team put on a packed agenda for the day, which included presentations on the way we interact on a practical level with oracle both locally by our main liaison Margaret Wright and from Tom Scheirsen who looks after usergroups in EMEA.

Sue Yates showed us the new volunteer strategy which includes a charter of how volunteers and the office are expected to work, but with in a framework of resources to help and nuture volunteers, our most important UKOUG asset:

What we expect from our volunteers
·         Strive for high standards of effectiveness, reliability and excellence in all aspects of your contribution
·         Deliver your contribution in a timely manner
·         Maintain and endorse the good name and reputation of UKOUG
·         Advocate two-way communication with other volunteers, staff, members and non members fostering an informative, pleasant and friendly environment
·         Co-operate, listen to and learn from members of staff, other volunteers and members
·         Understand that there are protocols and policies that must be adhered to as our actions have implications for the wider community
·         Understand that not delivering on a commitment has wider consequences for UKOUG
·         Respect the need for discretion whenever you have access to sensitive UKOUG information
·         Take reasonable care of your own health and safety and that of others whilst undertaking volunteer activities.
What our volunteers can expect from us
·         Respect you as a volunteer, listen and learn from what you have to say, proactively encouraging two-way communication
·         Recognise that successful volunteer involvement incorporates your motivations, aspirations and choices
·         Endeavour to match the needs of UKOUG with your skills, knowledge, experience and motivation as a volunteer
·         Celebrate success and recognise loyalty and dedication
·         Ensure the health, safety and welfare of all UKOUG volunteers whilst undertaking volunteering activities
·         Create and nurture a friendly and supportive environment – ensuring volunteering is an enjoyable experience for all involved

Graham Spicer who later confirmed as our commercial director presented our business plan for the rest of this year, explaining the measures we need to try and break even this year, and then there was the change presentation.

We use this day to collect ideas from the volunteers and what happened this time was directors sat at individual tables with different questions and the volunteers moved around the tables with their ideas. Paper tablecloths were provided so that all notes could be captured. Last year over 200 things were captured, some very small that simply became business as usual, and others like website changes that take a little longer.

Simon Haslam and Paul Bainbridge talked about how their SIG have been trying dual venues and broadcast sessions into each other. Later we had breakout sessions and I believe the tone set in the change presentation made SIG leaders understand the need for some change in their areas too and it was a very productive afternoon.

After the AGM and the relief of getting our changes passed it was time for the bit of volunteers’ day I like best; the chance to say thank you for all their hard work with a dinner and overnight stay. We had about 70 volunteers plus about another 20 oracle volunteers but one was very special, Sue Harper who has worked with the dev SIG for a very long time, is leaving not only the oracle corp. but also the community moving to a completely new area.

Thank you to all our volunteers especially those who were unable to attend and I didn’t have the opportunity to thank in person.

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