Without our volunteers, the HMSA would be at a complete standstill. Having only 2 part-time paid staff, means that the day to day work of the HMSA, is completed almost entirely by our wonderful and passionate team of volunteers. We do not have a physical office for volunteers and staff to congregate in, instead we all work virtually the majority of the time; liaising with each other by teleconferencing or email! This makes our achievements so much more amazing and we are all very proud of the work we do.
A few times a year our volunteer Team Leaders and Team Members meet up for training and to discuss the objectives of the charity. We are just about to meet up to discuss the impending changes to the categorisation of EDS, and the new diagnosis for people with Hypermobility Spectrum Disorder. We have volunteers up and down the UK, and we promise we are listening to all our overseas members and starting to look further away!
Volunteering for the HMSA has to be a good experience. People need to feel comfortable in the work they do for us and they are never without support. Each volunteer has a nominated Team Leader, who is responsible for the volunteering experience of those that they lead. In addition, our Volunteer Coordinator, Brenda Jones, is always around if needed for advice and support. We provide full mentorship to make sure our volunteers continue to feel rewarded and valued for the work they do. We help to provide goals for individuals to work towards and we can work with the DWP to assist with getting back to paid work if that is what the volunteer wishes.
Every volunteer who has face to face contact, or deals with any vulnerable person, must have full current DBS certification. It is important to us that our members feel comfortable and safe when using our services.
All organisations that have volunteers need to be able to offer training to equip people with skills needed for the role they choose. The HMSA is very keen to ensure we match the right person, with the right role. Whether it is for our;
- helpline, which took just under 900 calls last year,
- social media groups, which are over most of our social media platforms
- shop, which sends out membership packs, literature and our HMSA branded merchandise across the world,
- Information Standard process, we were one of the first charities to successfully gain accreditation, leading the way for many others,
- national groups, which assist with self-management, and (where volunteer group leaders are available) our local member support groups.
and much, much more.
Many of our volunteers go on to gain employment with skills they have developed through their work with the HMSA and through the bespoke training that we offer.
Not all our volunteers help us on a full time basis; the HMSA aims to make volunteering easy! This means we will be flexible to your needs (excuse the terrible pun!). If you wish to only do 2 hrs a week, we will find a role for you. If you have a specific role in mind, we will let you have a go and see how it works for you. If you want to volunteer but don’t know what you want to do, we will use our application and interview process to match you to a role.
Volunteering with the HMSA is a dynamic process, driven by passion for assisting people with Hypermobility Spectrum Disorders, or Marfan, EDS, OI, PXE or Sticklers, and for most it is a massively rewarding way of staying well informed, while helping themselves and others to live well with hypermobility syndromes. You don’t need to have one of the conditions to volunteer with us. We are just about to start recruiting people who have no hypermobility related conditions but wish to help the charity on its mission.
A few of the roles our volunteers play are very involved and time consuming (Not relying on paid staff, helps keep our overheads down), but most others require just a couple of hours a month. For more information about volunteering please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can be as much involved with the charity as you like, after all, we’re here to serve you and nobody else!
To support the work we do please Just Text “HMSA13 £5” (or your preferred amount) to 70770. Your donation is appreciated and goes directly to members support, we are volunteer run so we don’t have large overheads.