The Assistant Manager for the Macmillan Cancer Support Centre at Maidstone Hospital’s Kent Oncology Centre, has become the 26th Macmillan professional working across 13 UK hospital based services to achieve the Macmillan Volunteering Quality Standards (MVQS).

Debbie Stansfield, who is employed by Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust, helps manage 17 volunteers. The quality standards is designed for managers like Debbie so they can build their skills and ensure they have the right competencies to manage their volunteers effectively, that the volunteer programme is of a high quality, systems and procedures are consistent and that the volunteers feel fulfilled, valued and supported to realise their full potential.

In short, the MVQS provides a clear and simple to use framework for volunteer managers to benchmark their current practice and make improvements to the way in which they manage their volunteers.

In order to achieve the MVQS, which align with other nationally recognised quality standards and reflect best practice within the voluntary sector, Debbie had to meet the MVQS’s 9 quality areas.

The quality areas, each of which comprised of a number of measurable performance indicators, are as follows:

  • Planning for volunteer recruitment
  • Recruiting appropriate volunteers
  • Selecting volunteers for roles
  • Induction and Training for volunteers
  • Supporting volunteers
  • Recognising the contribution of volunteers
  • Volunteer communications
  • Ending our relationship with volunteers
  • Monitoring and evaluating volunteer involvement

Debbie said: “It took a year of organising and preparing to get everything in place but it’s something I’m very proud to have achieved.

“The MVQS aims to make sure our volunteers get a great experience – no matter what they do – and lets them know they are valued and supported to their full potential.”