Delivering circles of support and accountability to protect communities from sexual harm and sexual reoffending


In Profile: CSW Volunteer Coordinator

She’s the first person you speak to when thinking about becoming a Circles South West volunteer, and she’s there to see you through core training and beyond – but how well do you know our Volunteer Coordinator? We caught up with Lucy Graham to find out more about her and the work she does within CSW.

So what is the Volunteer Coordinator’s role within Circles South West?

The Volunteer Coordinator role is really the first face of Circles South West. I’m the first contact that potential volunteers have with the charity and it’s really important that I come across in a friendly manner. It can be a rather daunting prospect for people, looking to work with people who have sexually offended. Particularly if they haven’t done so before.

Whilst recruiting and retaining volunteers is my largest role I also have many other responsibilities. I organise both core training and development training days. I keep the volunteer database, run the CSW website and admin is a huge part of my job. References, forms, certificates and DBS checks are all me. I am also the go to person for IT and communications. It’s a really varied and interesting role and I’m never bored.

What led you to the role of Volunteer Coordinator?

Well it all happened at the right time for me, I had just left my temporary contract at a hospice and I was looking for something in the charity sector where I could really make a difference. When I found the role advertised I could hardly believe my eyes, it was exactly the kind of thing I wanted and I applied on a whim, never expecting to even get an interview. At interview stage there were so many impressive people there that I was positive I would never stand a chance. When Jo called me to say I’d got it, it was like winning the lottery.

And how has the role progressed over the years?

Well, when I first started, the role was only 2.5 days a week. We were much smaller then and the workload was manageable within that. As we’ve grown over the last 4 years so have my hours and now I’m full-time (and there’s still not enough hours in the day!) I have my fingers in so many pies, and I joke to my colleagues that it’s because I’m making myself indispensable. They have to agree or I won’t fix their technology.

What would you say are the qualities a Volunteer Coordinator needs?

A real appreciation for people for the most part. I love working with people and I am very sociable. You also need to be organised within an inch of your life, this role doesn’t work if you don’t love spreadsheets. You’ll also need patience when things don’t work out the way you want them to.

And what do you do when not Volunteer Coordinating?

I’ve just moved to the country so there are lots of dog walks and village fetes; which might not sound exciting until I tell you about the food they sell. I love to travel and used to live in Thailand so getting back there every year is a must. I like to write, and talk, I can talk endlessly, so socialising with my friends is there too.

What do you hope for the future?

I hope Circles South West will continue going from strength to strength so I can work here for a very long time. I hope we continue to attract such lovely people to work with us and that together we can help tackle the issue of sexual offending. I also hope that one day those flying skateboards from Back to The Future will become a reality.

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