Eventually, your project will come to an end. The way you finish should be as well organised as the rest of your project. Don’t just let things come to an abrupt stop. Even if you are running a never-to-be-repeated one-off project, there are a number of tasks you need to do to make sure your project ends properly. And if you’re handing over to new project leaders, you’ll need to make sure that they’re prepared for next year.
RECRUITING NEXT YEAR'S PROJECT LEADERS
You should start thinking about recruiting Project Leaders for the new academic year from the start, as the best way to recruit new leaders is through your current volunteers. You can help prepare and encourage your volunteers to take on a leadership role by offering them mentoring and opportunities to take on roles with more responsibilities such as Team Leader or Activity Leader. This will support them to develop the skills needed and help to build their confidence, which may encourage them to apply to become a Project Leader in the following academic year.
If you need any support to recruit new Project Leaders, get in touch with your Project Supervisor, we can support you through the Project Leader Recruitment Campaign if you were not able to recruit from your current pool of volunteers. You might also want to use some of the same techniques you used for volunteer recruitment, if none of your volunteers want to take on the role of Project Leader.
As your project gets close to completion, it’ll be time to gather up all of your evaluation data and to fill in the gaps. You might want to have a final meeting with your community partners, do a questionnaire with the participants, or get feedback from the volunteers.
Your Project Supervisor will also be in touch to ask you to complete the Handover & Evaluation Form. This is your opportunity to say how you feel the year has gone.
If your project is continuing next year, it is important to have a handover meeting with the new Project Leaders. Your Project Supervisor should be present at this meeting too.
The meeting should cover:
- Overview of activities in last year
- Important contacts
- Health and Safety (including any accidents or near misses)
- Outstanding tasks
- Volunteer recruitment
- Handing over paper work or electronic files
You will need to complete your Handover & Evaluation Form before this meeting, as there are likely to be issues you’ve raised in it that next year’s leaders need to know about.
END OF PROJECT CELEBRATIONS
You might like to arrange a celebration with your volunteers to mark the end of the project. You should also make sure that they’re aware of the Volunteering Service’s Awards Ceremony. This is a chance to meet other volunteers and get an official ‘thank you’ from UCL. All volunteers also receive a certificate and our photographer can take a group picture of your team.
The Awards Ceremony is also your opportunity to receive recognition for all your hard work and nominate your project team for an Award. Nomination forms will be sent out around Easter time, and these are judged by a panel who look at:
- The impact you’ve made
- How well you’ve planned and organised the project
- How well you’ve evaluated it
- How well you’ve managed your volunteers
HIGHER EDUCATION ACHIEVEMENT REPORT (HEAR)
For most UCL undergraduates, your volunteering can now be included upon the HEAR (Higher Education Achievement Report). The HEAR contains your academic record, but also includes extra-curricular activities.
There is a separate category for Project Leaders – we can include your leadership role on the HEAR as long as you’ve completed at least 30 hours.
We may be in touch with you to ask you to verify the hours your volunteers have done – please respond to these requests promptly, as otherwise your volunteers might miss out having their efforts recorded.
You can use this checklist to make sure you have followed all the necessary steps!