As the director of Home-Start West Berkshire, I was delighted to be able to work with Chris Barrett from the Berkshire Charity Mentors programme from October 2019 to March 2020.

The team worked to find the right mentor from the outset given our organisations challenges and the best personal fit. My initial contact, Chris became my mentor to support us with the difficulties we faced in the recruitment and retention of volunteers.

Working with a mentor, helped define our focus and we researched the attributes and experience of our best volunteers. We identified common traits that supported our search for not just more volunteers but volunteers with the characteristic we needed. Chris helped us to navigate our volunteer survey to understanding the motivational factors of our volunteers and use these in new attractive marketing materials. Our uptake from contact to volunteer registration has improved.

Not only was the mentoring useful to the strategic aims of our organisation but I also enjoyed the process of working with Chris. He listened to understand and his approach was conscientious and thorough. I would recommend mentoring for any charity that is ‘stuck’ on an issue. It has reframed our volunteer recruitment and changed our procedures for good.

Grace Green

Home Start West Berkshire

Chris understood our organisation very quickly and was the perfect mentor for us! He focused on giving us useful guidance on how we could develop our objectives and helped us create solutions for some of our marketing and business challenges.

We very much look forward to the next couple of months to find out what impact his help will have on our roles and to the mission of the charity. Thank you Chris, you have been wonderful to work with and we are certain that we will be in contact again

Marcia Rowlinson

CEO, ABC to Read