Tuesday, 5 October 2010
This is the first in a series of live chats which we'll be continuing over the coming months. The next topic planned is on policy, in November. Please check our website, Facebook page and Twitter account for more details in the weeks to come.
As always do comment here if you've got any other thoughts or questions. But for now Peter and Keith would like to say goodbye.
Lesley Hanson: I work in an F&E store and find it rewarding - but hard work when on the phone for collections.
I've recently been in several Furniture & Electrical (F&E) stores and understand there is a real challenge associated with the need to find out whether what is being offered to us is actually saleable. As you know if it isn't we are faced with the cost of disposing of it.
We understand that manning the phone line is difficult but its a crucial part of the job and in doing it you are doing something which is fundamental to our very successful F&E fundraising results.
F&E stores have been a huge success and are now a really important part of the BHF. As are you by being involved. If you'd like any more support or training please talk to your shop manager and share this response with him or her. And of course if you've got ideas for improvement please let him or her know also.
Phil Morris: why don't you produce a regular newsletter for funeral directors - reminding them of their local contact & asking them to order leaflets?
But we're always reviewing the best way to carry out different aspects of our fundraising. After your comment we'll take a fresh look at this and let you know our future plans.
Thank you very much indeed for the suggestion - we're always keen to hear ideas about how we can do things better.
We have a network of Fundraising Volunteer Managers (FVM) across the UK who can give support and advice. They can give sample press releases, template posters and ongoing advice on how to spread the word. Keith can put you in touch with your local FVM if you can email your details to firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you. Keith is keen to put you in touch with your local team. Please send your contact details to email@example.com
We never say never however and things may change in the future. But for now we do have an online shop which of course we'd be delighted if you use.
You're clearly interested in our work and we'd also be keen to talk to you about other ways we can work together. Please pass on your contact details to Keith so we can get in touch (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Thank you for being part of the BHF for 5 years and thank you for all of your kind words about us. We're both personally touched by your comment.
We're very proud of what the British Heart Foundation has achieved over the years but there is still a long way to go before we've won the war against heart disease. We need more people like you and would love to share your story. Please do get in touch with Keith (email@example.com).
Jennie: I've been touched by stories of babies and children with congenital heart conditions. What is being done to raise awareness? & how can I help?
Of course you can always support the British Heart Foundation in its work through volunteering or donating. This support helps us to carry on the funding of vital research into this tragic condition.
We've funded a number of research projects on congenital heart disease over our almost 50 years. There are many children who survive now as a result of this pioneering work. We continue to fund research in this area.
Many of these children are now young adults and benefit from our Yheart work which helps build confidence and enables them to live as normal a life as possible.
Ian Hansford asks: why do you upset your hard working volunteers by sending them letters asking for £1000?
We recognise that at the moment our contact database simply isn't good enough and we do sometimes unfortunately send inappropriate asks. We have a major project going on at the moment which will solve the problem and will be complete by early next year.
We're sorry to hear that you've received letters you don't want. If you can provide your details to Keith (firstname.lastname@example.org) we can make sure you don't get any more letters like this while the database project is completed.
As always thanks for all the support you've given and continue to give.
There are a few more ideas on our website volunteering pages. You can sign-up online or get in touch with me (email@example.com)
Michelle asks: I was a volunteer years ago and have lost touch after moving house. How do I find out how I volunteer in Telford?
Thank you again for your wonderful comment about BHF.
Anthony McMahon asks: Do volunteers get a staff discount in F&E stores? A volunteer from the store I work at was refused one
We'd advise your colleague to check with their shop manager and check the reasons why the discount wasn't possible in the particular case in question.
Please do pass on our thanks to your colleague for volunteering.
Ray Short also asks: “When are members of staff at the BHF headquarters going to show less contempt in their dealings with the voluntary sector
We understand that under pressures of time staff don't always behave exactly as we would like - we've introduced a comprehensive development programme for all staff to ensure we give the very best service to our volunteers.
We're sorry to hear you've had a poor experience, thanks for bringing it to our attention. If you have more detail to help us follow this up please do share this with Keith (firstname.lastname@example.org). Keith will then take it up with the appropriate people.
We're always delighted to have feedback even if it does involve some uncomfortable messages. We believe that this is important to achieving continuous improvement.
Ray Short asks: Whatever happened to the much vaunted “insights team” was this just another BHF initiative without much substance
We're pleased to say we've made good progress on the insights project. We're just about to launch and have already got a number of people signed up as our insights panel. It's currently fully subscribed but if you're interested in taking part in the future we'd love to hear from you.
Of course the insights panel is not the only way we listen to our supporters. We'd encourage you to get in touch with your Fundraising Volunteer Manager or Regional team who can give you some more suggestions.
The BHF believes that wherever appropriate heart patients should be referred to cardiac rehab. We have been campaigning hard on this and there is lots of info on our website campaign pages. At the moment only around half of the patients whom we believe would benefit from cardiac rehab are actually getting it. We want to see this change and actions like you've taken help this. You can also help us by getting your GP to get in contact with our Medical Director Peter Weissberg (email@example.com) and we will get your GP the information he needs.
If you'd like to help us with the campaign please contact us directly (Keith Lewis - firstname.lastname@example.org).
Naturally all of this work is only possible with all the amazing support of our volunteers.
It is also important for them and us to be clear how much or how little time they want to spend with us. All volunteers are very highly appreciated no matter what they do for us.
We'll be starting our live Q&A on Volunteering in the next 5 minutes. Our Chief Exec Peter Hollins and Volunteer Fundraising Manager, Keith Lewis, will be answering all your questions. Unfortunately our Fundraising Director, Aneesha Moreira, has been called away and won't be joining us as planned.
We've had a few questions in already so will be starting very soon...
Saturday, 2 October 2010
Take part in our very first Volunteer Live Chat on Tuesday 5th October between 4pm and 6pm. Our Chief Executive, Peter Hollins, and Fundraising Director, Aneesha Moreira will both be on hand on the BHF blog to discuss your comments, ideas, feedback and questions.
You can submit your question in advance or on the day by:
- Emailing email@example.com with your question and "Live chat" in the subject line
- Posting a question on our Facebook fan page
- Sending us a "tweet" with your question using the hashtag #BHFQs.
We will answer all the questions on this blog we receive on our blog, so keep an eye out for your question and answer.
We look forward to hearing from you.