Congratulations to Staffordshire Sight Loss Association for receiving the Silver Award for their volunteering offer.

Sian Osborn (VAST) and Jess Ball (SSLA)

Staffordshire Sight Loss (SSLA) provide many different services. They aim to empower blind and partially sighted people in North Staffordshire to lead independent and fulfilling lives. They do this through providing high quality, accessible services including information, advice and support, peer support and social opportunities.

The Volunteering Quality Standards sets benchmarks for working with volunteers; providing a solid foundation on which to build a volunteering framework that is, amongst other things, consistent, effective, and inclusive.

This recognition is a testament to SSLA’s commitment to providing high-quality and inclusive services to blind and partially sighted individuals in North Staffordshire.

SSLA have been increasing their volunteer opportunities to cope with demands on their services. They are able to offer many different types of volunteer opportunities, ranging from marketing, social group volunteer, administration, braille class, retail and much more. Having a diverse range of volunteer opportunities allows SSLA to engage volunteers with varying skills and interests.

SSLA received additional funding through the Know Your Neighbourhood fund which allowed them to recruit and hire a dedicated volunteer coordinator, Jess. SSLA decided to take part in the Quality Standard scheme to give them the opportunity to review every element of their volunteering offer. By ‘going back to basics’, it gives organisations the chance to review their current policies and procedures and update them. Under the scheme, Jess was able to review and renew SSLA’s policies around volunteering and create a more transparent and suitable onboarding process for new volunteers.

Receiving the Silver Quality Standard award is a remarkable achievement and a well-deserved recognition of SSLA’s hard work and dedication to their volunteers. They are setting a great example for other organisations looking to create effective and inclusive volunteering offers.

Quotes from SSLA:

Jess Ball (Volunteer Coordinator)

“The decision to complete the quality standards was easy, especially when I realised most of the criteria were already things that we were doing. Having the silver quality standard assures volunteers that we have everything in place to provide any support that they need.”

Quote from VAST:

Sian Osborn, Project Officer, “Having worked with SSLA for a few months now, it is great to see how they have been able to develop their volunteer offer. They show excellent commitment to their volunteers, ensuring that volunteers are well supported, included in decision making and respected within the organisation. I look forward to continuing to support SSLA as they aim for Gold!”

Staffordshire Sight Loss Association continue to work on their volunteering offer and are currently working to achieve the Gold level.

VAST is continuing to promote the Quality Standards to organisations in and around Stoke-on-Trent, as well as promoting the organisations who have completed the scheme to demonstrate to others that the scheme is achievable and worth doing.