Louise’s volunteering story

7 June, 2023

Louise recently joined VSS following a recent Scotland-wide volunteer recruitment campaign. Here she shares her experience of training to become a court and community volunteer.

“The recruitment campaign for VSS Scotland caught my eye whilst watching TV.  I was pleased to be invited to an information and orientation Teams call which was quickly followed by a competency-based interview and an invitation to join the volunteering programme.

“Within a week of the orientation call I was introduced to the IT platforms where I could find the Digital Portfolio, the independent learning modules and a vast library of learning materials. Everything was easily accessible and easy to navigate. The training was in 3 distinct elements; workshops, independent learning and exposure to the practical aspects of the role, all supported by approachable knowledgeable members of the VSS team.  I quickly realised VSS worked at pace in a professional and organised manner and it was clear that this is what would be required of me in the role.

“The support during the training modules was reinforced by my mentor who checked in every two weeks to ensure I was on track from a training timetable perspective but also, more importantly, from a learning and comprehension perspective. My mentor was available to answer any questions and to allay any crisis of confidence I might have been experiencing as I worked my way through the modules and was a friendly face to help me.

“I was fortunate to reinforce the theoretical learning with two visits to my local Sheriff Court prior to completing the formal training. My local manager made me feel extremely welcome with clear instructions prior to the visit and they were prepared for my visit which made me feel all the more welcome and comfortable. I shadowed a VSS colleague on two occasions who was patient and knowledgeable and provided excellent insight into what was to be expected as part of the Court Support role. What was all the more reassuring was everything I had read and learned from the Court Support independent training module was relevant to what I witnessed and experienced in Court at a practical level. This further reinforced my view of the professional approach of the entire training programme and impressed upon me the theoretical learning was not simply an administrative step, but it was current and relevant would provide me with a good foundation as to what I could expect in the role on a practical level.

“While the ‘book’ learning is now complete, there can be no better learning than practical experience supported by the VSS team. I am confident that access to workshop training notes, standard operating procedures and the online library will allow me to revisit what I need to know and keep my knowledge current and relevant via the online learning platform and continuing professional development programmes.”