Monday, 3 April 2017

Dottie Greenwood: Coordinating volunteers at Missing People

Missing People relies heavily on an incredibly special, dedicated and passionate network of volunteers.

Volunteering Coordinator Dottie helps to look after these 200+ volunteers, as well as recruits many more new people to join the team.

We sat down with Dottie and asked her a few questions about her role, and the role of volunteers within Missing People.

What does your job at Missing People involve?


I support volunteers throughout their commitments to Missing People, such as their initial induction and training with the charity, as well as ensuring they continue to be happy within their roles and have a brilliant and fulfilling experience during their time with us.

The majority of the volunteers I deal with help in the public-facing aspects of the charity such as the helpline, search support, and poster publicity, but I also support the wider teams of HR, Communications, and Research with their volunteers.

How and why are volunteers vital to the charity?


Our volunteers regularly assist with supporting missing people and their families, fundraising and bespoke roles supporting different teams across the organisation.

Missing People often describes itself as a lifeline to those who are missing and their families, and volunteers in turn are the charity’s lifeline. They increase the amount of support and publicity we can offer.  This ensures that many people who are away from home can find the help they need, and families left behind feel they are doing everything they can to find their missing person.

For example, our Poster Publicity Volunteers have contributed to around 2,900 posters being distributed to Poster Partners around the country.

It’s important to note that it isn’t always about how much time a volunteer can offer. Volunteers help the charity by bringing any of their skills, expertise, passion and personalities to the various roles too.

Why would somebody want to volunteer with Missing People?


You don’t always have to have experience of a role you’re interested in. For example, our Archivist Volunteers don’t need archiving experience; training is provided so volunteers can do the best job possible with the skills they have, and sometimes even gain further skills for their careers outside of the charity.

Volunteering can be flexible around work and home commitments with weekend and evening shifts available, and in some cases opportunities to volunteer from home.

We want to create a community of volunteers that are all part of the bigger picture, alongside our paid members of staff. To do this we offer volunteer meetings and updates, so people can meet and continue to grow their knowledge of the charity together.

We really do value the time our volunteers give, and we hope that they all realise how essential and invaluable they are to our organisation.

At the moment, we're promoting Project 42 - a campaign to fill all the slots on our helpline rota with a volunteer. These wonderful people will support our busy services team who offer free, confidential advice around the clock. Training for new helpline volunteers starts soon so we're really welcoming any new applications for this!


If someone isn't able to make a regular commitment to Missing People, but wants to get involved, how can they?


If someone doesn’t have the ability to commit to tasks or roles within the charity weekly, they could consider a community-based or fundraising role. These roles are incredibly important as they help us to raise awareness across the country. You could even sign up for a running or cycling challenge!

Alternatively, you can register for Child Rescue Alert and be informed of when a child in your area is missing and believed to be in immediate danger.

If you'd like to help and be a lifeline for missing people and their families, please do get in touch to see whether any of our volunteering opportunities might suit you!


Find out more about becoming a volunteer for Missing People.





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Around 250,000 people go missing in the UK each year. The Missing Blog aims to give a voice to all those affected by this issue.

Written by families and friends of missing people, supporters working to raise awareness of the cause, and volunteers and staff at the charity Missing People, we hope that this blog will offer a window into the issue of missing.

The charity Missing People is a lifeline when someone disappears. To find out more about Missing People and ways that you can support the charity visit www.missingpeople.org.uk.

Call or txt the charity Missing People for free on 116 000, 24/7 if you or anyone you know is affected by a disappearance.