Warwick Volunteers (WV) is part of the University of Warwick and, based in the Warwick Students’ Union building, it is at the heart of extracurricular student engagement. WV joined MSL (Membership Solutions Ltd) in 2021. WV was keen to investigate solutions to support their student volunteers and community opportunity partners. MSL was already known to Paul Barlow, WV Manager, and we spoke to him to hear what was attractive about the MSL solution and Volunteering and Employability in particular.
This is the first in a short series of blog posts following Warwick Volunteers as it digitally transforms its offering for students and staff. Check out our second blog post here, and our final blog post here!
MSL SYSTEM RESOURCES
Volunteering and Employability
Updating Warwick Volunteers’ digital presence
We had a catch-up with Paul Barlow, Manager of Warwick Volunteers, to learn more about the MSL Volunteering and Employability rollout and what sparked the need for a different solution to manage volunteering activities at the University of Warwick.
Implementing MSL Volunteering and Employability gave us the opportunity to streamline processes and reduce the workload for the staff massively. - Paul Barlow, WV Manager
These manual processes were very staff intensive, and any information needed from volunteers, partners, and about opportunities were held on an Access database, in Excel spreadsheets, and web pages with sign up forms used to collect volunteer information. This meant staff had the time consuming task of cutting and pasting data into the Access database.
There were issues with data and connectivity - a lack of connectivity between the students and the staff with the old manual methods we had in place created a massive workload for WV staff.- Paul Barlow & WV Manager
The Volunteering and Employability solution
Warwick Volunteers were looking for a new, intuitive system that staff and students could quickly and easily start to use, so the ease of deployment was crucial. Along with the ease of deployment, they needed support from senior managers at the university to implement a system, and the speed of delivery from a known supplier was a help in getting approval.
The WV and MSL teams started work together on the 1st of July 2021
New digital resources ready for staff and volunteers by 13th September
Implementation to roll out - just 10 weeks and 4 days!