Hi Firefly! Below you’ll find the answer to questions like “Is Sanctuary happening this year?” and “What have the 2019 Sanctuary Co-Leads been up to?” For information on what Sanctuary is and how to volunteer, go here.
Why Sanctuary will likely feel far more organized in 2019
Last year the running of Sanctuary fell almost entirely on one person, who did a valiant job; this year more than 10 people have stepped up in various capacities.
Making sure Sanctuary is always staffed for the demand
/ Keeping volunteers from having to do their shift alone
/ Addressing no-shows
Ideas have been floated of how to use reward or punishment to prevent volunteers from missing their shifts, but none of those ideas have seemed both aligned with Firefly principles and worth the cost. Instead, we’re hoping that the other things we mention in this section will reduce the number and impact of no-shows.
This year we ran the numbers to see what shifts get the most traffic, and are putting extra people on those shifts. To cover these extra shifts, we are doing one more pre-Firefly training than last year and one more on-site training than last year.
For volunteers who have forgotten when their shift is, there will be a printed schedule at Sanctuary. If a volunteer has a valid reason they can’t do their shift, they can mark that on the schedule and others trained volunteers looking at the schedule can put down their name if they’re available.
We are hoping to find a pre-event volunteer to help us create bracelets that off-shift Sanctuary volunteers can wear to signal to Rangers “If a gap has opened in the Sanctuary schedule you can ask me if I’m available to fill it.”
New policies and procedures we hope will make Sanctuary more effective
We were upset to hear some people say they were turned away from Sanctuary last year; this year we will not be turning anyone away. We think some volunteers have been afraid of cases like a drunk person taking up Sanctuary’s time who could be helped elsewhere; we are deciding to be more concerned with cases like someone who takes a long time to admit they want help and ends up turned away because “they seemed like they didn’t need us”, before they had a chance to express their need.
We are in the process of updating the response plans for sexual assault and for suicidality. In cases involving sexual assault (that happened at or before Firefly), we are aiming to do a much better job informing victim/survivors up front a comprehensive and accurate list of options they have and the limitations that exist. This should help victim/survivors feel more informed and in control of the process, while also helping volunteers not try to help beyond their limits. In cases of suicidality, we are taking suicide attempts more seriously than in past years, as is merited.
At Sanctuary there are Case Forms that we ask volunteers to fill out after each “case” of visitors to Sanctuary. The information on the case forms helps Sanctuary Co-leads know what process improvements can be made year over year. The forms last year collected some information that is never used, and didn’t collect other information that would be helpful. We are updating the case form.
We are adding resources to the binder at Sanctuary: Volunteers who want to supplement their Sanctuary training can read up–when their shift isn’t busy–on coping mechanisms, psychosis, grounding exercises, mindfulness, thinking traps, common reactions to trauma, and self-care.
Finally, we believe the volunteer roles Supervisor (SS6) and SS12 had unclear duties, that the unclear duties made people not volunteer since they were unsure they were a good fit, and that these roles that we’re replacing SS6 and SS12 with address that issue:
Subject Matter Expert On Call: 6 hour shifts, wandering with a radio
Most Sanctuary cases are people who are just overwhelmed and want a friendly ear. When more difficult subjects come up (abuse, violence, suicidality) we would like Sanctuary volunteers to be able to call in someone who has background or training in psychology, mental health, social work, or counseling. By putting volunteers with that background on-call we expect that they will spend less time at Sanctuary but their time there will be more impactful.
Logistics Supervisor: 12 hour shifts, wandering with a radio
Logistics Supervisors will receive special comprehensive training from the Sanctuary Co-Leads to enable them to answer any logistics questions (shift schedules, materials, radios, case forms, policies etc) that come up during their shift. They are not expected to do case work, only to support Sanctuary volunteers. Logistics Supervisors who are on shift at 1 PM will attend the Core Leads meeting at Ranger HQ.
Giving Sanctuary volunteering a social/community aspect
Sanctuary volunteers who are signed up for a training should expect to receive an invitation soon to a Sanctuary volunteer picnic in Boston. Let’s hang out!
A new shelter
Our shelter had big holes eaten in it by rats in storage, so we’re getting a new one. If time and budget allow it, we’ll try to get something less clinical and more comfortable than the carport (Nectr uses a dome).
If you want to help, we’ve got even more we’d like to do!
Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to take on:
- Finding a location for our on-site trainings with seating and shelter (we’ve booked the Stage but feel bad hogging those great performance times)
- Ordering bracelets that off-shift Sanctuary volunteers can wear to signal to Rangers “If a gap has opened in the Sanctuary schedule you can ask me if I’m available to fill it.”
- Making a new Sanctuary logo; ours has more fire than Fire Safety Core