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The perfect recipe for volunteering

Flour, eggs, butter and sugar are some of the essential ingredients of a cake. And just like a cake RTPI membership has its own vital ingredients. Into that mix we throw high professional and ethical standards, knowledge, experience, and our volunteers who bind those ingredients together. Because it’s volunteers who bring together all the elements of what we do to serve our communities.

RTPI volunteers are active, engaged members who share our vision for the planning profession and ambitions for the RTPI; and who, through a combination of attitudes, thoughts, behaviours and actions, help shape the success of the Institute by supporting the delivery of our activities for the benefit of the wider membership, our members’ communities, and the organisation in itself. They also, in the case of Planning Aid England, deliver services directly to the public. You can meet some volunteers here.

Over the next week RTPI President Sue Bridge will be visiting the East Midlands and then the South West to meet and say thank you to some of our outstanding volunteers in the regions. Sue said: “In an RTPI survey last year 95% of volunteers said they would recommend volunteering to others, and 69% of respondents said that they feel their contribution helps achieve the objectives of a work area of the RTPI. 62% also felt that their contribution positively impacts the wider planning profession. That’s why it’s always so important to say thank you on all my regional and national visits and I look forward to meeting some of our volunteers over this week.

“The survey shows the value members place on volunteering, and the difference they feel their contribution can make. And I wholeheartedly agree with them. Volunteers bring real work experience of planning into the Institute alongside invaluable professional expertise. I’m proud that the Institute is putting in place measures to further improve the experience of volunteering including a standard induction, a dedicated strategy backed up with policies and procedures that support involvement, and the development of a dedicated Volunteer Hub set to launch this summer.”

And it’s not just volunteers in the regions and nations Sue wants to thank. “Our volunteers are present through the Institute. They form young planner groups, work with PAE, act as APC assessors and mentors, liaise with universities, engage young people in planning, chair and support our networks, and get involved with our governance through corporate committees, panels, and of course our presidential team of which I am proud to be part of.”

The RTPI also has a Volunteering Charter. It clearly sets and defines what we expect of volunteers and what they should expect from us. The Charter recognises that our ambitious plans can only be fully realised with the right resources and that’s why we are committed to investing in the ongoing development of our staff and volunteers.

Finally, this week sees the opening of nominations for the RTPI elections. It’s a great opportunity to get involved with the Institute and have your say. Members will receive an email from Mi-Voice on 5 June with details of the roles you can apply for.

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