By Anna Laine

Since the launch of a new national leadership workshop, Supporting Volunteers and Managing Teams (SVMT) at the Pacific Institute in May, over 50 volunteers and employees in the Los Angeles Region have got together for a day-long workshop to improve their mentoring and coaching skills. The day consists of the Supervising Volunteers Workshop (SVW) and Supporting Volunteers and Managing Teams Workshop.

Bee Kong, Volunteer and Youth Services Director, enjoys facilitating the class. “The curriculum takes ideas and concepts that aren’t brand new, but brings new light and perspective on how to work better with your team.”

Many employees that have joined the Red Cross in the past year have been largely impressed by the workshop, and the value it brings on managing volunteer lead teams.

Ashley Henyan, a Services to the Armed Forces and Veterans volunteer turned employee in the Communications department, expressed her satisfaction of the workshops. “The workshop gave me personal insight that has helped me access the skillsets in my volunteer team in a way that really highlights their talents”.

Certain teams around the region who have already been successfully pairing new volunteers with experienced mentors, are excited about the availability of the new workshop that will help their leadership volunteers and mentors hone their skills in this area.

Barbara Colwell, the regional Mental Health Services Lead volunteer, who has served the Red Cross for thirty years as a leader and instructor, participated in the workshop on Sunday 20th August at the Pasadena Mansion with approximately 20 other participants.  “I was most impressed with the collaboration between different lines of service that were present at the training, and how well everyone worked together in their groups. I was able to take sections of the workshop, and think about how I can use them within Disaster Mental Health activity. I have encouraged volunteers in my team to sign up to one of the upcoming workshops – taking this training is like planting a small seed that will with time grow into a strong tree.”



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