Our Volunteers Have Their Say!

Thursday Meal Volunteers Dec 17 C In November we conducted our first volunteer survey.

The survey was completely anonymous with a focus on evaluating volunteer training and programs, determining volunteer satisfaction, and informing future considerations and improvements.

Through the survey we discovered that while half of our volunteers had been volunteering at CRC for between 1-4 years, some have been coming here for closer to 20! Out of the 93 volunteers who responded we learned that just over a quarter were from the Regent Park area including CRC participants, local residents, and 40 Oaks tenants, who enjoyed giving back to their local community.

In addition to gathering important information about the volunteer experience at CRC, we also got to chance to hear candid volunteer feedback and learn about how our volunteers feel that their work at CRC has impacted their lives as well.

When we asked our volunteers how their perceptions of poverty and hunger have changed since volunteering at CRC, they responded:

Honestly, I did not know how many people we had to feed every day and I know we are only one source. Meeting some of the community members has raised my level of appreciation for the situation they are in.

Sometimes I forget the scope of who these issues affect. Often I assume that it is more obvious who needs help or support but CRC showed me that sometimes people are hiding in plain sight and that these people may not ask for help but want to be included.

We also asked how volunteering with CRC had increased our volunteer’s interest in community issues. 75% of them said yes! Here was their feedback:

I am thinking of going back to college and upgrade to personal support worker.

I do more reading about the issues, attend events about them and support the social justice team at our church.

Last, we asked about their views of CRC and the Regent Park community as a whole:

It helps me to get involved in the community. To meet new people. It helps my health by volunteering. I live here. I love this building. If it was not for this building I would be back in the homeless shelter.

CRC is unlike any volunteer experience I have ever had – in a good way. I believe it has opened my eyes to some of the incredibly difficult issues people face every day. I am trying to be a better listener. I am usually surprised by the exhaustion I feel after just two hours with the knitting group! That’s how intense it is sometimes! Yet something draws me back week after week and I love the work I do at CRC.

In total, 90% of respondents felt that they were welcomed at CRC, and that they belong as part of the Regent Park community. The vast majority of volunteers also felt comfortable voicing their concerns and providing feedback to CRC, for which we are very grateful!

Thank you to all the volunteers who lend us their time and talents! After reading your responses, it’s clear that volunteering at CRC has made a positive impact on your lives, just as having you as part of our team has had such a positive impact on us!

Lastly, thank you Kristen Johnston for putting this survey together for us, you can see the whole presentation here and find our responses to your suggestions here.

Great job everyone!

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