Jen George engaged with St Stephen’s School to help the school consider how volunteering (as an aspect of community engagement) could be made more effective. The catalyst for this engagement was that after 3 decades the traditional model of volunteering was losing traction and interest particularly among the parent community. St Stephen’s needed to understand what was happening and plan a way forward.
The leadership that Jen George provided to this initiative was of profound value to the school. Her leadership was characterised by a collaborative approach. This approach honoured the work and commitment of those who had invested so heavily in leading volunteering and collaborated with them in such a way that they willingly came to their own decisions regarding ceasing their activities and transitioning to the new volunteering model.
Engaging with key staff and volunteers was a clear part of her strategy. This enabled her to understand what had been and what was currently happening. She brought evidence-based research and professional expertise to the conversation in such a way that others were being educated in the community engagement field and thus able to make informed and thoughtful decisions.