An innovative new partnership has been developed in Calderdale between West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (WYFRS) and Voluntary Action Calderdale (VAC). The fire service has been delivering Safe and Well visits to people in their homes across Calderdale since April 2017. These free-of-charge visits involve fire crews identifying potential fire risks within the home. WYFRS believe they’re delivering a quality service but wanted to find out from customers themselves, what they thought about the service they had received and whether they had acted on the advice and information given.
Together with VAC, the Quality Voice project was created and has been running since June 2017. Local volunteers are recruited and trained to contact people by phone and ask them how they found the experience. Volunteers attend VAC’s Resource Centre each month for a few hours to make the calls. The information collected is analysed by WYFRS and used to improve the service.
Martyn Greenwood, Calderdale District Commander for WYFRS, said
“Our partnership with VAC has been a great way for us to connect with the local community through volunteers. The volunteers have helped identify the high quality of our Safe and Well Visits and encouraged a culture of continuous improvement within WYFRS. We are very grateful to our customers and our volunteers for the vital feedback they give us each month.”
Hailey Dundavan, Quality Voice volunteer, said
“It has been unlike any volunteering I have been involved in before. Having WYFRS involved with us so closely has really helped to get a sense of the difference we are making.”
Adam Clark, Volunteering and Projects Manager at VAC, said
“Our team of volunteers are fantastic. They have a professional but relaxed phone manner and are able to connect with people in a unique way to gather feedback about services. The Quality Voice team have learnt some important skills through our partnership with WYFRS, not only gathering feedback but also offering follow-up support to people to ensuring they understand and implement the fire safety advice given by WYFRS. As the project continues to develop we would love new people to volunteer and join the Quality Voice team.”
To attract new volunteers to the Quality Voice project, VAC are holding a volunteer open day on Monday 26 February at the VAC Resource Centre, Hall Street, Halifax, HX1 5AY between 11:00am–2:00pm. Anyone interested in the project is invited to attend; the fire service will be talking about the project and offering free home fire safety information to those who attend. There will also be a chance to find about VAC’s other volunteering roles which include delivering creative activities in care homes, offering a befriending service to older people and mystery shopping adult social care services.