#Heartwork: Ms Patsy Ang

28 Feb 2024

From Corporate role to Volunteer Management

In her early career, Ms Patsy Ang, Volunteer Management Executive at Babes Pregnancy Crisis Support (Babes), balanced her corporate responsibilities with a deep commitment to volunteering. With like-minded friends, she engaged in various charitable activities, including a transformative trip to the Children of Tomorrow Youth Centre in Myanmar. This experience solidified her dedication to lending a hand to those in need, regardless of the challenges faced. However, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic prompted a significant shift. Leaving her role as a Marketing Manager at a Training and Consultancy firm, Patsy eagerly joined the SG Healthcare Corps, where she actively participated in frontline support efforts for swab operations. This experience fuelled her passion for serving the underprivileged, ultimately leading her transition into the non-profit sector. Seizing the opportunity offered by the SGUS Social Service Accelerator Programme, she joined Babes initially as an intern and later securing a permanent role as a Volunteer Management Executive.

Challenges and Triumphs at Babes

Patsy's journey at Babes has been filled with both highs and lows, particularly when reaching out to volunteers to fill various opportunities and roles. She came to realise the substantial time and effort involved in planning and coordinating these efforts, especially amidst the complexities of mobilising volunteers during the COVID operations. Yet, through perseverance, communication, and adaptability, she deepened her understanding of the intricate dynamics involved in Volunteer Management.


Ms Patsy Ang (5)
Patsy (second from left) with her volunteers at Boutique Fair helping with booth management and fundraising efforts.

“Fostering a deeper relationship with volunteers increases their commitment to lending a helping hand. Maintaining open communication through small touchpoint interactions and teatime chat sessions is key to building a long-lasting relationship. Furthermore, I’ve discovered the significance of adaptability and resilience in navigating unforeseen circumstances and evolving needs. This adaptability has proven instrumental, not only in times of crisis but also in ensuring the continued success and sustainability of our volunteer programmes,” shared Patsy.

One significant accomplishment in Patsy's tenure is the establishment of Volunteer Team Leaders for key services and programmes at Babes. Transitioning from a primarily staff-operated 24-7 Helpline, Babes has effectively integrated a greater number of volunteers, thereby expanding its capacity to offer empathetic assistance to individuals confronting pregnancy crises. This commitment to bolstering the service has been reinforced through ongoing training initiatives and the introduction of additional roles, such as Team Leaders, which have enhanced the organisation's volunteer framework.

Currently, two Team Leaders play pivotal roles in overseeing and assisting a team of 28 volunteers, thereby elevating service standards. The Babes helpline now operates entirely on volunteer support, with backing from the case management team. This shift not only alleviates the workload for staff but also enables them to concentrate on their primary duty of aiding beneficiaries.

Similarly, within the Befriender Team, the leaders devised strategies to redesign and create bite-sized roles, improving the matching rate and ensuring volunteers are assigned tasks aligning with their skills and preferences.

“Critical to our success was the careful selection of individuals possessing both commitment and aptitude for these roles. Furthermore, I build that understanding of mentorship and provide guidance to the team leaders through regular check-in sessions to ensure our leaders feel supported and equipped for their responsibilities, fostering a sense of community and shared purpose. These team leaders have not only strengthened social cohesion but also cultivate collaboration by encouraging individual and collective action. Their contributions mark a milestone in our journey, underscoring the value of strategic leadership and effective Volunteer Management,” Patsy shared.

Fostering a Collaborative Community

At Babes, Patsy implemented strategies to foster open communication and collaboration among staff and volunteers. Initiatives such as establishing a Volunteer WhatsApp Group and organising annual gatherings facilitated dialogue and networking, strengthening the sense of unity and shared purpose within the organisation.

Ms Patsy Ang (2)
Patsy (front) Welcoming new volunteers during Babes Volunteer Orientation.

Building upon a shared vision, every interaction is an opportunity to foster collaboration and collective effort. Staff and volunteers unite with a common purpose, contributing their skills and dedication to advance the mission and goals of Babes. The sense of unity cultivated through open communication and shared values forms the foundation for a resilient and supportive community, ensuring that each individual, whether staff or volunteer, plays a vital role in the organisation’s success. Together, we navigate challenges, celebrate achievements, and work collaboratively towards the greater good of Babes. To us, our volunteers are integral members of our extended family,” shared Patsy.

Active Involvement of Senior Management Team

The active involvement of the Board, HR Committee, and Executive Director reinforced a culture of appreciation and support for volunteers at Babes. Through continuous engagement initiatives and training programs, volunteers were recognised and appreciated for their valuable contributions and unwavering dedication to the organisation's mission.

Ms Patsy Ang (3)
Patsy (Front row, fourth from left) at the Babes Annual Volunteer Luncheon Gathering which serves as
an opportunity to connect and fostering understanding of the work on the ground.

“They have been integral to our Volunteer Management journey. Their active involvement is evident through engagement and attentive listening to the voices of our volunteers during lunch gatherings and events. Their commitment reinforces a culture of open communication and appreciation within our volunteer community. Their steadfast belief in the value of volunteers is also reflected in the continuous support and budget allocation that have allowed us to successfully create and nurture a tight-knit community of volunteers. In 2022 alone, we have dedicated 24 training sessions tailored specifically to our volunteers. Through consistent engagement initiatives and training programs, volunteers are not only recognised but also appreciated for their valuable contributions and unwavering dedication to our mission,” shared Patsy.

A Two-Way Partnership

As a Volunteer Management practitioner, Patsy recognises the importance of establishing a sincere connection between the organisation and each volunteer. By fostering a genuine passion for the organisation's mission and ensuring volunteers are well-engaged in their roles, she creates a collaborative and fulfilling experience for everyone involved.

Ms Patsy Ang (4)
Patsy (Third row, third from right) and her volunteers at the Babes Volunteer & Partner Appreciation 2022.

“Volunteer Managers form the bridge between the community, the agency, and its beneficiaries. By establishing a sincere connection between the organisation and each volunteer, we create a positive and memorable impression at every touchpoint. A genuine passion for the organisation’s mission and the cause it supports is vital for motivating and inspiring volunteers. Putting our sincere heart and effort into ensuring that all volunteers are well- engaged in their assigned roles with the appropriate training and guidance reflects our commitment to their success and satisfaction. The relationship between volunteers and the organisation is a two-way street. Both parties contribute to the success and effectiveness of the partnership and creates a collaborative and fulfilling experience for everyone involved,” shared Patsy.

Patsy's journey from a corporate executive to a Volunteer Management Executive at Babes underscores the transformative power of dedication, adaptability, and collaboration in effectively managing volunteers and advancing the mission of non-profit organisations.

Are you looking to make an impact through volunteering? Check out our Volunteer Resource Hub for useful links to help you in your volunteering journey.