The group represented a diversity of interests in volunteering. Some members were involved in managing volunteers, others in participating as a volunteer equal, others as volunteers in a group managed by someone else. Some were interested in becoming a volunteer if they or the organisation could find a way to create 'space' within their schedules for this to happen. Members shared a common concern to find more effective ways of promoting the values and benefits of their groups to potential new members.
Several of the group members were involved with groups currently concerned with creating changes in their structures either to ensure their continuity in the face of changed and changing social environments or to ensure the carrying out of their stated mission. It was noted that frequently it is a small core group from amongst the larger population of members that ongoingly ends up doing most of the work.
Group discussion focused mainly on the potential positives and negatives of using OST and ways of ensuring that people showed up.
Positives included that volunteers, by definition, already have a passion for whatever they have volunteered for. Likewise, they have already demonstrated a sense of responsibility in being prepared to volunteer. They are usually a diverse group representing people from all walks of life with a range of interests and experience and the issues facing volunteer groups are usually complex. These characteristics are all typical of successful OS interventions. Likewise, volunteers also have practical experience of working with the Law of Two Feet. A successful OST would increase the sense of connectedness amongst a volunteer group and this in turn would help to keep the passion alive.
Negatives centred around fears that it would not work because of its perceived unstructured nature, the potential repercussions of this on the facilitator, and on the problems involved in persuading a potential sponsor to agree.
Inviting potential participants to invite others to come along too was noted as an effective way to increase the number of people involved.