About me

I am a freelance trainer, consultant and writer, specialising in volunteer management issues. This blog is my unsubtle attempt to create a ‘presence’ – that’s what the marketing books tell you to do anyway.

I’ve spent almost 10 years working in volunteering good practice, at a local and national level. This has included info/policy work for a volunteer centre and many years at Volunteering England, as Head of Information. I’ve written several publications and numerous articles. Volunteers and the Law is available as a free download from Volunteering England. I was also co-author of The Good Practice Guide, the leading volunteer manager’s handbook.

In my time I’ve dealt with, written or trained on just about any topic around volunteering – volunteer policies and procedures, recruitment, retention, health and safety, CRB checks and client protection, and in more recent years have become known for a firm understanding of the legal position of volunteers.

Please feel free to email me if you’d like to discuss how I can help you involve volunteers.

[Note:  I’ve noticed that with some google searches for my name or this blog there are several hits for someone sharing my (unusual) name  on the recently leaked BNP membership list, which is mirrored on various sites.  It is of course not me.]

For a slightly fuller CV see below.


For almost 10 years I provided good practice advice and information for volunteer managers through the national volunteering infrastructure body Volunteering England and its predecessor the National Centre for Volunteering. In this time I helped thousands of organisations through a telephone helpline and email service. I developed much of the guidance we provided through articles and information sheets. As Head of Information I oversaw the creation of the ‘Good Practice Bank’, a one stop shop for volunteer management information which is both well used and well praised.

Prior to this I was a full time volunteer for 2 years, which is what drew me into this work. I also worked for a now sadly defunct local volunteer centre as a policy and information officer.

In this time I also ran hundreds of workshops and training sessions, and spoke to audiences in single figures and in hundreds. My training on volunteering legal issues became very much in demand after I wrote ‘Volunteers and the Law’, delivering 40 workshops on that topic alone in the course of a year.

I am happy to train on most issues related to volunteer management. Typical workshops I have run include:

  • Volunteers and the Law (as a complete overview or focussing on particular legal topics)

  • How to lose a volunteer in 10 days (a humorous take on good practice, especially attracting and retaining volunteers)

  • Introduction to volunteer management

  • Writing a volunteer policy

  • Recruiting volunteers

  • Retention

  • CRB checks and volunteering

  • Dealing with difficult issues

I have also worked closely with organisations to review and/or rewrite their volunteer policies

Selected Publications:

Volunteers and the Law

Volunteering England (2006)

Popular and readable guide to the law for volunteer managers and volunteer-involving organisations.

The Good Practice Guide

National Centre for Volunteering (2002)

Co-written with Kate Bowgett and Kathryn Dickie. Leading UK handbook for volunteer managers.

Safe involvement of volunteers with vulnerable clients.

National Centre for Volunteering (2003)

Short overview of the titular issue.

Volunteers across the NHS

Volunteering England, endorsed by Department of Health (2006)

Co-written with Sheila Hawkins. Guide to help ensure consistency in volunteer management across the NHS

Get it right from the start

National Centre for Volunteering (2002)

Guidance on writing a volunteer policy

All available from the Volunteering England website.


One response to “About me

  1. Hi Mark, I know of you through VE. Just wanted to ask if you’re planning to build in an RSS link on the blog here or maybe an email list for updates?


    Pete (West Midlands)

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