Springboard Trust’s impact evaluation doesn’t just focus on the school leaders we work with – it also encompasses the benefits for our tūao.
And last year, there were some immense benefits to those hundreds of volunteers who gave their time to principals, schools and students across Aotearoa. In addition to the reward of supporting schools and forging lifelong relationships - the full details are found in our 2021 Impact Report – below are some key headlines of what volunteers told us about how their time with Springboard Trust benefited them.
1. Volunteering with Springboard Trust honed their own skills
Self-reflection is a key component of many Springboard Trust programmes, which encouraged that behaviour in volunteers’ own personal and professional contexts. Many noted their own leadership, coaching and mentoring capabilities improved over the course of just one programme.
2. Volunteers gained new tools for their work
Many frameworks and tools in our programmes will be familiar to our tūao, but many more still proved new – and useful in their own work. Notable mentions focused on tools for effective stakeholder engagement and maintaining a strategic, helicopter outlook as leaders, as well as taking away methods for improving their own communication as leaders.
3. Volunteers became education advocates
So many of our tūao noted that the job of a principal is one of the most difficult in Aotearoa, and that those who took on this role have unbridled passion and energy for our youth. Volunteers want to see more support for school leaders, with many advocating for such change outside of Springboard Trust.
Their challenges are so similar to the corporate world, but they have very little access to training and little time to focus on their own leadership skills. - Volunteer, Springboard Coaching for Leadership, 2021
4. Improved mental health for volunteers
An indirect - albeit critical - benefit for volunteers outlined in our 2022 GoodMeasure report is the mental health improvements for volunteers. This will come from (and manifest in) different things depending on the volunteer's context, but is another independently evaluated impact for volunteers that we're honoured to see shine through.
This is the spirit of ako in action – while the impact that volunteers have for school leaders is magnificent, the development travels two ways. It underlines the similarities between leadership across sectors, and reinforces what we already know – that our volunteers truly are the backbone of learning that happens at Springboard Trust.