When Buddies first started off, we didn’t have too many clients. Basically all the volunteers knew each other’s clients.
Initially, our monthly meetings were held alternately to discuss matters: if one month’s meeting was to discuss admin matters, then the next month’s meeting were to discuss clients progress.
Later on, when the clients list grew, and we didn’t have time to discuss the progress of all clients in one meeting, we decided to divide the volunteers into a few groups, appoint a leader for each group, and it was up to the group leader to call his/her group members for monthly meetings to discuss about their clients. The group leader would then submit a report to the Board.
But apparently it became difficult for group leaders to get a time where all his/her group members would be free to meet. The Board then decided that instead of calling for meetings, the volunteers should submit a monthly report (on paper) indicating their contact records with their clients and any updates to be reported.
Again, it didn’t really work out because the reports only came from the very same volunteers who’re also regulars to our monthly meetings. Defeats the purpose as we wanted to get reports from the volunteers we seldom get to meet.
So, even that died off. Understandably, the volunteers have other commitments. Since this is just voluntary work, we always tell them to give priority to own family and own full-time jobs first. And with our clients list growing to over 400 now (including those who had passed on), it is not easy for our Centre to keep track of the latest updates of all our clients.
In most of our clients files, what we have are just the first contact reports. And if the client had passed on, that would be recorded in the file. But when clients move to a new place or changed their phone numbers, those details aren’t recorded in their individual files.
Not really a problem as long as the assigned buddy is in touch with their clients regularly, right? But without those details updated in the files, what happens when the volunteer suddenly resigns? Yes, we can always assign a new volunteer to the clients, but without much details in the files, how is the volunteer taking over the case going to contact the clients?
Yes, it is high time we update the files. And so yes, for this month, there will be no board meetings. Instead, we will be calling all volunteers to attend a meeting specifically to discuss our clients’ progress report. And for those who are unable to attend the meeting for whatever reason, I have specifically requested that they submit a report on their clients to me before the meeting.
I do hope all the volunteers will cooperate this time around. For those who have not contacted their clients for some time, it is about time they do so in the next few days to get the latest updates.
Hmmm… need to go through the list myself too. There are a few of my clients whom I had not contacted for quite some time, it is time to call them now, IF I can get hold of them.