Volunteering roundup: May 2015

In this month’s roundup

  • Everything you need to get ready for Volunteers’ Week
  • Upcoming events
  • NCVO’s analysis of the election result and what it may mean for volunteering
  • Updates on quality accreditation
  • Opportunities to take part in our research

We would love to hear from you about all things volunteering! Comment below, tweet, or email us.

Countdown to Volunteers’ Week!

It is that time of year again when we are particularly busy in the volunteering team with the final preparations for Volunteers’ Week that runs from 1 – 7 June. You have been busy too! There are now over 300 events listed on the Volunteers’ Week map and we have seen some creative things happening with the bunting…

Fun with bunting. Sign up for a Volunteers' Week resource pack.
Fun with bunting. Sign up for a Volunteers’ Week resource pack.

There is still time to get involved, so don’t forget to add your event to the Volunteers’ Week map so that people can find your event and we can help promote it. Our resource pack has everything you need to help you get ready. Get your pack by signing up to the Volunteers’ Week website. You can also keep updated, and join the celebrations online by following @NCVOvolunteers on Twitter.

On 1 June we will get the celebrations started with our Volunteers’ Week twitter party. Join in by sending your thank you messages to volunteers using #volunteersweek. There are lots more tips for getting involved on our blog.

Guidance and resources

We have resources to help you say thank you to your volunteers. You can download the NCVO Quick Guide to Thanking Volunteers. We also have guidance on how reward and recognition can help you retain your volunteers.

View more volunteering resources.

Join us at Evolve 2015

Book your place to join us at Evolve 2015 on Monday 15 June, NCVO’s annual conference. There are two workshops on volunteering and a stellar line up at the afternoon plenary session on Gold-winning volunteering its not to be missed! You will hear from NCVO’s President, Britain’s celebrated Paralympic athlete, Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson. Also speaking are Olympic medallist and director of the 2012 legacy charity, Join In, David Moorcroft,  and Daisy Robinson, a Join In local leader who will discuss the role of volunteering in sport. We look forward to seeing you there!

Do you manage or support volunteers? We want to hear from you.

We want to know more about your priorities for learning and development.

Take our short survey by Thursday 16 June and you can be entered into a draw to win a prize of £30 of John Lewis vouchers. The winner will be contacted by Friday 19 June. Thank you!

What does the general election mean for volunteering?

The results are in! NCVO has been considering what the new government has in store for volunteering. In his Letter to the Sector, Sir Stuart Etherington wrote about the limitations of government influence and emphasised the need of the voluntary sector to shape its own future. Our Head of Policy, Karl Wilding commented about the post-election opportunities in store for volunteering in his blog. The Conservative policy on Employer Supported Volunteering (ESV) (see p45 of the Conservative manifesto) will continue to be a key area of interest. NCVO welcomed the announcement because of the role it may play in encouraging culture change. In my blog post, I made the case for putting party politics to one side and focusing on the potential benefits of ESV can bring. We now need to direct our attention to how policies will be implemented and what support and resources there will be to support them.

Tell us about your experience of employer supported volunteering

Take our short survey if you or your organisation has engaged in employer supported volunteering. This is where employees are nominated by employers to volunteer. The survey is part of a project commissioned by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

Invite your new MP to Volunteers’ Week

Inviting your MP to your Volunteers’ Week event is a great way to introduce them to your organisation and highlight the contribution volunteers are making in their constituency. Use the template letter in the NCVO Volunteers’ Week resource pack. Read NCVO’s top tips on how to approach an MP and mistakes to avoid.

Save the date: 14 July – National Volunteering Forum in Leeds

NCVO will be examining what the result of the election means for volunteering at the next National Volunteering Forum on 14 July in Leeds. Booking details will be available soon. View the storify from our last event.

Calling all Volunteer Centres

There is still time to complete this year’s Annual Return of volunteer centres survey. Deadline 31 May. The Annual Return provides crucial data on the activities of volunteer centres in England, and the results are used by NCVO and the volunteer centre network to inform development work and improve practice.

Students encouraged to add volunteering to UCAS form

New guidance on UCAS applications, produced the Charities Aid Foundation and supported by UCAS, encourages students to include volunteering and social action to support applications to university.

What is the relationship between family and volunteering?

We want to explore how family dynamics shape volunteering. Complete our short survey.

Congratulations achievers

The first Volunteer Centre Quality Accreditation (Wave 4) certificate has been awarded to Voluntary Impact Northamptonshire. Our Voluntary Centre Quality Accreditation (VCQA) quality assures your local volunteer support service. Most volunteering still takes place at a local level and Volunteer Centres play a crucial role in the sustainable growth and development of volunteering locally.

Voluntary Impact Northamptonshire  awarded quality accreditation
Voluntary Impact Northamptonshire awarded quality accreditation

Total number of Investing in Volunteers achievers tops 800

Congratulations to the 19 organisations in England that have successfully renewed or achieved the Investing in Volunteers Standard (IiV) in April 2015, taking the total number of achievers across the UK to over 800 since the IiV Standard launched in 2004.

Dame Esther Rantzen presents Approved Provider Standard certificate to Age UK Haringey

Age UK Haringey has been awarded the Mentoring and Befriending Foundation’s Approved Provider standard for its befriending service.

Dame Esther Rantzen presents the Mentoring and Befriending Foundation’s Approved Provider Standard certificate to Age UK Haringey
Dame Esther Rantzen presents the Mentoring and Befriending Foundation’s Approved Provider Standard certificate to Age UK Haringey

Are you interested in setting up a mentoring or befriending service? Are you looking to develop your volunteers mentoring or befriending skills? Find out about the Mentoring and Befriending Foundation’s one day courses.

To achieve a quality mark for your mentoring or befriending service find out about the Mentoring and Befriending Approved Provider Standard (APS).

Nottingham Trent University awarded Investing in Volunteers for Employers accreditation

The hard work of Nottingham Trent University, the community and staff, has been recognised. Their volunteering and community involvement scheme, encouraging employees to volunteer in the local community for the benefit of the University, the community and staff, has been awarded Investing in Volunteers for Employers (IiVE) accreditation.

The IiVE Award recognises an organisation’s commitment to best practice in employee volunteering management by supporting its employees to volunteer.

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Kristen Stephenson Kristen is NCVO’s Volunteer Management and Good Practice Manager. She’s interested in raising the profile of volunteer management as a profession, and the development of approaches which can help volunteering deliver for people, organisations and communities.

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