The Transport Team finally managed to carve out the time to have some much needed thinking space this week to reflect on what we do, how we interact with our ‘customers’, and where we want to go next. The nature of our work means that we rarely get the opportunity to get time away from the office as a group and have a real conversation about what we want to do with the department so a day at the refurbished Trenance Cottages in Newquay (an inspiring story of what volunteers can achieve in their own right) was a real treat.

We spent the first half of the day doing some formal training around supporting volunteers which was based on the Volunteer Management courses which our training department offer. This session generated some interesting thoughts on things we could do better to help our volunteer drivers in the great work they do, and some different ways of working for us to try. After lunch the team showed their communication and team working skills communicating detailed information right across the boating lake using only hi-vis jackets. Communicating with our volunteers, often in trying circumstances, is a big part of our work and the exercise reinforced the need for clarity, and checking, and recognising the recipient of information as being on the same team.

We wrapped up the day thinking about how our stakeholders see us and our work, thinking about brands that we think highly of as well as ones we definitely don’t and working out how we can try to emulate the first group and avoid making the same mistakes as the second. Again the team came up with some fantastic ideas for things we can start doing right now to create a more positive feeling about us. In the coming weeks we will be creating a customer charter and changing the way we tell the story of volunteer transport as a result of our discussions.