Since we were founded in 1944, volunteering has been in our blood. We are governed by a board of 10 volunteers, every one of our events is supported by volunteers in some way, and we currently have over 1,000 volunteers on our database.
In the past 10 years, our staff team as a charity has quadrupled, with the vegan community having the same growth over four years. With this growth in veganism and, consequently, The Vegan Society, we thought it was time for a change. On 26th April, we launched our brand new volunteer webpages, to represent our new volunteer program.
Every time anyone uses the word vegan, and any time someone decides to call something vegan on their menu or anything else, that's that group of 25 people who founded the Vegan Society. – Samantha Calvert
Volunteering is still a huge part of the culture here in the UK, and we’re hearing more stories from across the world of volunteering becoming a new staple of modern society. Seven in 10 people in the UK have volunteered, and 90% of those people feel they make a real difference. With more people wanting to support our work, we knew we needed more structure and focus to our program. And so, that’s what we did!
One of the foremost comments I hear when volunteering is that The Vegan Society is so important to a lot of people. I'm very, very proud to volunteer for The Vegan Society. I love every minute of it! – Ann Lloyd, community volunteer
Previously we had around eight different areas that you could volunteer within. We’ve streamlined that down to three key streams: office based, specialist, and our community network. Within these three areas, we have a range of roles. We hope that this will empower you to see more clearly what to expect, and to tailor your volunteer experience more closely to what you enjoy and your own goals. You can view the role descriptions for open roles on the area web pages. Everything we did before we still do, the only difference is we’ve made everything more transparent and brought volunteering types that were very similar together.
Staff and volunteers at Brighton VegFest 2019
By introducing more specific areas and roles within the program, we can get applications processed faster, and we can get back to your questions quicker than ever before. With a small staff team, we’re doing all we can to make our digital streams work for us to make sure applying to volunteering is as easy as it can be. We’ve also moved a huge amount of the processes online, meaning a faster and easier journey to volunteering. This has the added benefit of ensuring your data is more secure, as well as enabling us to use a whole lot less paper.
I knew someone who had been volunteering for years at The Vegan Society and one day their encouragement was enough to get me to give it a shot. – Coraline Hope, office volunteer
Going forward from where we are, we’re going to be developing opportunities within the program, including training and more communications and opportunities to get involved. If you have any ideas on how the program can be better, or if you’d like to get involved with the program but none of the roles quite fit the bill, you can email us on volunteer[at]vegansociety[dot]com.
I’d say if you’re thinking about it, just do it! It’s a great experience, and even if your tasks aren’t the most exciting, knowing that you’re spending your time doing something worthwhile is a great feeling! – Anna Darke, office volunteer
We will always strive to make sure volunteering with us is meaningful, enjoyable and well supported. Everything we have learnt over the last 75 years has shown us that anything is achievable with the right people and plans in place. We hope our new structure for the program will provide the plans, so you can contribute to our work in a way that really matters, to everyone.
The views expressed by our bloggers are not necessarily the views of The Vegan Society.