Peer support could be very important for volunteers but the extent to which this took place depended on where volunteers were based and how much contact they had with others. There were some key examples of volunteers supporting each other in regards to gender roles. Some organisations had formal meetings for volunteers but these did not take place frequently, in this example, just once a year. Accessing peer support could be a challenge for volunteers working out in the community who had little contact with other volunteers.
While peer support was seen as valuable by volunteers for many there were limited opportunities to interact with peers and take advantage of this kind of support. Suggestions were made by volunteers for ways to improve this, such as through the use of online forums.
There’s a group, everybody that’s on the befriending team can go along to once a year and just all get together and, I suppose, discuss any issues you might have and it’s nice just to reassure you that there’s other people in the same boat, sort of, thing. (Female volunteer, Stirling)
It’s difficult because with volunteers it’s time, whether they get the time. And it’s getting them together. I very rarely meet anybody from Txxx, unless I go into the office we’ve got with the RVS, I very rarely meet anybody. You operate in your own zone type of thing. Which is good. I know if I need assistance I can go in. But most volunteers hardly meet anybody. We probably meet once at Christmas or something like that. (Male volunteer, Stirling)