Everyone in the office is readying for the onslaught known as "end of year" on 5th April. For a small charity like us, which is also a registered company - it takes a great deal of time and attention to detail to ensure everything is in order. Chasing unpaid invoices, petty cash reconciliations, inputting data about the work we do, gathering paperwork ready for the auditors, the list is pretty long. We're lucky to have a solid team in the office who keep on top of things month in and month out but you can never quite avoid the stress!
And of course, while this is happening, we can never take our eye of our main ball - delivering quality specialist services to women who want our help. I'm reminded today when all three paid workers have been up to their ears, that one of the main reasons we can get so much done is because we have such a solid, experienced and dedicated team of Volunteer Support Workers who carry out so much of the support. Two women were staffing the helpline line last Friday evening, with another working face to face with one of our service users. On Saturday most of our volunteers turned out to receive some specialist training as part of our regular programme - and this afternoon as I write this, yet another of the team is back in taking calls on the helpline and answering emails from women. Our team of 24 volunteer support workers give up so much of their time for the organisation - much of it in the evenings and weekends. Their core training involves 5 evenings and 3 weekends, plus then additional weekends given up to additional training courses, events and organisational awaydays.And they do it cheerfully!The Trustees too are volunteers and give acres of time to overseeing the vision and strategy for the organisation. This often involves reading and analysing huge amounts of information and again, they do this cheerfully!
It's an exciting time for Devon Rape Crisis Services right now as we're about to expand our paid staff team from three bodies to six in the next few months (see our vacancies page for details!) and they'll have a real job on their hands to keep on top of everything. We do need a core team of paid workers to keep the organisation going but we also know we are the sum of our parts and a huge part are the volunteers who just keep turning up, doing amazing work and developing their skills and so the skills of the whole organisation."