This week the Leapfrog team ran a co-​design workshop with the group of volunteer coordinators in Elgin, building upon the insights collected in previous events. The group was split into two design teams and spent the afternoon collaboratively generating ideas and prototyping solutions to the design challenges developed by the Leapfrog team.

By end of the three hour workshop, both design teams had come up with an idea for a tool, which were pitched to each group. The first idea, in response to the challenge of recruiting volunteers that takes account of people’s skills and motivations at the start rather than only looking for the skills required by a particular role, was called ‘Unwrap Potential’. This tool is for potential volunteers to create their own profile prior to their initial recruitment interview, which details their motivations for volunteering, their hobbies and interests (as well as the type of activities that don’t interest them as much), their time commitments and availability for volunteering, and provides a more detailed depiction of the volunteer’s personality. A key issue raised by the participants was that a lot of time is spent during this initial recruitment interview breaking the ice and trying to get to know a new volunteer to gage their commitment. The aim of this tool is to save on this precious time as well as provide a new volunteer with a fun way of communicating aspects about themselves that are difficult to articulate so coordinators can get the right volunteer for the right role. The participants were also keen for this tool to subsequently be used during reviews with the volunteer throughout their volunteering journey, which can evolve as the volunteer gains more experience. The tool would take the form of a downloadable template, which a new volunteer would be directed to by the coordinator to print out and fill in prior to attending the first interview.

The second tool idea, in response to the challenge of creatively reporting stories of impact, has two working names (yet to be decided on) — ‘Bunch of Impact’ and ‘Seeds of Change’.  This tool is to be used by volunteers to communicate impactful stories to project administrators and managers in their organisation through the intervention of sending them a bunch of flowers. A downloadable template would be available online, which has flower petals that can be cut out. Volunteers record a story on each petal. Once a number of petals are collected over time, flowers can be formed which make up a bunch. This bunch of story-​flowers can then be sent to management and other stakeholders. The key aim of this tool is to provide volunteers with an alternative way for them to communicate important and meaningful moments that occur in their volunteering practice and to celebrate this. This visual tool provides an alternative means of reporting impact, which could be supplementary to the formal processes already in place.

The next steps for the Leapfrog team is the prototype the participants’ two tool concepts and send these out the group for feedback and testing. A final workshop will take place in a couple of weeks where the tools can be finalised by the participants.