Pip Morrison is our new Volunteer Engagement Manager. Pip will oversee around 400 active volunteers spread across a wide geographic area who are critical to every service we run. 

Pip says, “We want to make sure our volunteers’ voices are heard and valued as much as everyone else within the organisation because they are the ones who are most immediately involved in delivering services to our clients. The general public is often unaware of the many and varied services we provide as a charity, for example, people often assume that hospital pick-ups are provided by the NHS and not by a local charity that relies on the goodwill and commitment of volunteers.

“We want to keep our volunteers engaged and happy because they are so incredibly important to us, so I will be looking at how we recruit them, retain them and train them and what we can do as an organisation to make them feel valued and supported.”

It’s a dream job for Pip who grew up in Dartmouth and was keen to move back to Devon from Nottingham, where she worked in a similar role for a charity that also helps people who are lonely, isolated and in need of community support.

Pip says, “It was time for me to return to my Devon roots, the sea and family. I was specifically looking for a management role in volunteer engagement so the timing couldn’t have been better. I’m only a few weeks into my new job and this role is giving me a lot of satisfaction. So many people support Westbank in different ways. I want to make sure we are using our volunteers to best effect and rewarding and valuing their input properly.”

Pip has a long list of things she wants to address, starting with an assessment of Westbank’s organisational needs to ensure volunteers are placed where the charity needs them most, and that there are robust systems in place for recruitment and training. Pip is also looking to involve community partners to develop volunteer training, for example, bringing in the NHS Falls Prevention Scheme to deliver workshops. Above all, she aims to improve internal communication with the charity’s hundreds of volunteers to enable each of them to see how they fit into the wider picture and complement others within the organisation. 

Katie Elliott, Westbank’s Head of Fundraising and Marketing says, “Our volunteers are a huge resource who can help spread the word about the important work we do, the vital services we offer and the kind of support we need. This information trickles through by word of mouth to friends, family and the wider community. New volunteers often approach us as a result of someone mentioning that they enjoy volunteering at Westbank. Bringing Pip on board is about how we can best use the interests and skills of our volunteers and celebrate and support them throughout their time with us.”