Managing Volunteer Exits

What happens when the relationship between your volunteer and your organisation is no longer working and has to come to an end?

When the relationship between volunteer and organisation breaks down and the decision is made that a volunteer should leave (for whatever reason), your approach should enable that volunteer to see that it is not appropriate for them continue to do voluntary work within your particular organisation anymore.

There could be one or several reasons why a volunteer is deemed unsuitable for a specific role. Yet, given the opportunity, the same volunteer may prove more than adequate at achieving other tasks. Attempts should be made to offer volunteers alternative opportunities.

Further training may be needed, but investing the time and effort will hopefully bring rewards. If no alternative roles can be found, refer the volunteer on – perhaps to another community group or organisation that may be more suitable. Or suggest that they contact The Ayrshire Community Trust where there may be a much wider range of opportunities to consider.

There may be instances where an organisation obtains information on a person which they feel needs to be shared with others. For example, there may have been a complaint made against a volunteer by a client. If, after investigation, this is substantiated and the volunteer asked to leave, it may be appropriate to share this information with certain other organisations, despite the issues raised regarding confidentiality and prejudice.

This situation may be difficult, and will entail careful consideration, however if it is felt there is a possibility of placing an already vulnerable person at potentially even greater risk, then the reasons for disclosing this information will be justified.
This does not, and should not, necessarily mean the volunteer is prevented from doing any further voluntary work. Rather, work undertaken in the future should be concerned with not placing clients (or the volunteer) in an unnecessarily vulnerable/stressful situation.