LOCAL charity Cotswold Friends is celebrating after being awarded Investing in Volunteers Accreditation.

The year-long application to the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) involved a comprehensive on-site audit and interviews with 37 volunteers.

Ten members of staff and trustees were also interviewed, and all of Cotswold Friends volunteer policies and procedures were scrutinised, as well as current working practice and future plans.

Sheryl Murray, volunteer manager, said: “Our fantastic volunteers are at the heart of everything we do, and we couldn’t run our charity services without them.

"We felt that the NCVO application process would give us a real opportunity to review our systems, react to feedback and make sure our volunteers are having a positive experience with Cotswold Friends.

"We were delighted to receive the accreditation award and to read such lovely comments from the volunteers who took part in the assessment.” 

READ MORE: Farmer must pay £6k for failing to keep cattle records

Comments from the volunteer interviews included:

“What a wonderful organisation it is. Everyone is so friendly and helpful and kind…nothing is too much trouble.”

“They are so attentive, so caring and so pleased to hear from you….It’s like one big family.”

“The staff are warm, lovely and caring. They are so committed. They really care and it comes across. They will do anything to make it work for people.”

Chief executive Amanda Howard said: “Thank you so much to everyone who contributed to the process and for the very positive and encouraging feedback.

"Demand on our services continues to grow and we always need more volunteers.

"We hope this accreditation will encourage anyone looking for a volunteering role in the North Cotswolds to contact Cotswold Friends, knowing we do all we can to support our volunteers.”

Cotswold Friends is based at Moreton Area Centre, High Street, Moreton-in-Marsh.

For more details, call 01608 651415, email info@cotswoldfriends.org or go to cotswoldfriends.org