The role of the volunteer in your market structure cannot be under-estimated.
Whatever your aspirations, without the commitment of people to carry that plan forward, they are but words on paper. It is suggested you consider the following:
Roles and tasks
Before recruiting volunteers it is important to look at exactly what it is that your organisation may wish volunteers to undertake.
Volunteers on markets are usually found by word of mouth, though it is worth keeping in mind that the 21st Century version is social media.
While the formal interviewing of volunteers may be a bit daunting for many, an induction is an essential to ensure clarity for both parties. As a useful guide you may want to refer to the Induction Checklist.
On-going management of volunteers will be a lot clearer and happier if a Volunteer Agreement is in place.
Not so long ago there was virtually no market in Market Rasen. Now a small team known as MR BIG (Market Rasen Business Improvement Group), a Community Interest Company run by volunteers, sees the picturesque Market Place packed with 30-40 stalls on a monthly basis. Including fine foods, arts, crafts and gifts, the concept has been built and delivered from a standing start, thanks to hundreds of hours of volunteer time over the past two years. Now generating enough revenue to be self-sustaining, pitch fees are set at a modest £20.
Kick-started with Portas Pilot government funding, the team have built a database, learned how to erect stalls and space plan events for maximum customer enjoyment. Weather permitting, market days provide a vibrant social and shopping occasion that is central to their belief that markets fulfill a pivotal role in helping rural towns survive and thrive, giving consumers a powerful reason to visit the High Street and support local traders and independent retailers.