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Caring for staff and volunteer training

Important: The deadline for application is Monday 27 March 

Voluntary service is a fundamental principle of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) Strategy 2030 emphasizes volunteering as one of the key transformations required to respond to future challenges. Through this policy the IFRC network commits to re-imagining volunteering and to taking measures to generate a healthy and sustainable increase in the engagement, motivation, and retention of volunteers in National Societies, including ensuring the safety, security, and wellbeing of volunteers. IFRC Volunteering policy. August 2022.

The Caring for staff and volunteers training is for branch and volunteer managers, team leaders and others involved in leading and training volunteers. The training equips participants with knowledge, skills, and tools to plan, and monitor activities and interventions to improve the safety, well-being and functioning of teams and building their resilience. The training is based on the IFRC PS Centre Caring for Volunteers, a Psychosocial Support Toolkit, the IFRC Volunteering policy and the 2019 International Conference resolution Addressing mental health and psychosocial needs of people affected by armed conflicts, natural disasters, and other emergencies.

Assessing and understanding the risks to the mental health and psychosocial well-being of staff and volunteer and taking their concerns seriously, is a first step. Next to create a plan of action for the daily support as well as how to prepare and support staff and volunteers before, during and after any major intervention.

A participatory approach gives participants deeper insight into how to work with different types of volunteers, run team meetings and offer psychological first aid to a peer in distress. At the end of the training participants will develop plans for the care for staff and volunteers in their respective areas of responsibility. During the training participants will be experiencing the uses and discuss the outcomes of using buddy systems, and they will plan how to run a short on topics such as self-care for their peers. After the training participants will be able to assist their management in designing and planning volunteer care systems.

Topics covered are:

  • Understanding the key aspects of psychosocial support
  • Risks, resilience and protective factors for staff and volunteers
  • Self-care when working in stressful settings
  • Peer support and buddy systems
  • Psychological first aid for staff and volunteers in distress
  • Setting up psychosocial support systems for staff and volunteers
  • Monitoring and evaluation of volunteer support
  • Developing action plans for teams, branches, or National Societies

Dates, deadlines, and other important information:

The training takes place in Copenhagen on 15 to 17 May. 15 and 16 May from 09.00-17.00 hrs CEST. 17 May from 09.00-16.00 hrs CEST.

Participants must be able to participate in the entire training, arriving the night before and departing from the training venue no earlier than 5 pm on the last day of training with the earliest possible flight out of Copenhagen at 8 pm.

The training is in English, and all participants are expected to participate actively. Sessions are PowerPoint free.

Participants will receive a certificate based on whether they have:

done the required pre-reading

at least 80 % attendance during the training

participated actively during the training

For questions, please write to psacademy@rodekors.dk

Deadline for application is:

Please note that we only accept applications submitted through the online system:  https://www.survey-xact.dk/LinkCollector?key=TM379N6XL11K

Please identify the specific visa requirements to Denmark:


There is no training fee. Participants cover their own expenses for travel, accommodation, and other expenses. Lunch and snacks and one social dinner will be provided during the training.

Pre-training reading

Caring for Volunteers Tool Kit and training manual
Available in French, Arabic, Russian and Spanish

IFRC Volunteering policy. August 2022: https://www.ifrc.org/document/volunteering-policy
Available in French, Arabic, Russian and Spanish

Please note, that participants are expected to actively engage throughout the training.