Volunteering Round-up: October 2015

Did you know?

79% of people in long term recovery from alcohol/drug addiction have volunteered since beginning their recovery journey.

New research from Sheffield Hallam University finds that community led peer support and volunteering can be more effective in maintaining recovery from drug or alcohol additions than medical intervention.

Micro-volunteering: it’s got big potential

How do we adapt volunteering so it’s fit for the future? Exploring the potential of micro-volunteering, on the blog, Kristen takes a look at what the research tells us, what’s changed and what’s driving micro-volunteering.

To better understand micro-volunteering and how to put it into practice, book onto our training on 19 November in Sheffield. Take a look at all our training opportunities.

Voluntourism: a holiday with a social cause

On the blog, Jarina reflects on her week in Lesbos, Greece, which is currently the most popular entry point into Europe for Syrian and other refugees. She asks whether tourists make a difference ?

Volunteering in the criminal justice system

At the Prisoner Learning Alliance conference in September, NCVO Mentoring and Befriending presented a workshop on peer mentors volunteering in prison. Reflecting on the research “Peers in Prison Settings”, the workshop explored how to improve the chances of a positive progression for a peer supporter after leaving prison. Read more.

Clinks have also been blogging about volunteers and the criminal justice system, where volunteering is adding value and complementing services but requires appropriate, sustainable investment.

Shouting from the rooftops: the importance of infrastructure

Last week, Sir Stuart Etherington spoke of the vital importance of infrastructure at the BIG Assist Beacon awards in Manchester. Recognising how the environment is shifting, especially with funding shortfalls, Stuart championed the vital role of infrastructure in the “unique, but fragile voluntary sector ecosystem”. Read the full text of his speech on local infrastructure or more about how innovation is vital to the future of infrastructure on the blog – and tell us what you think in the comments below.

BIG Assist Learning / Change for Good event

If you are an infrastructure organisation in the South East, come along to the next BIG Assist Learning/Change for Good event next Tuesday, 20 October in London. Book your free place.

Congratulations to VCQA achievers!

The following volunteer centres have recently achieved the VCQA Wave 4 standard. Congratulations to them all!

Practical advice: DBS checks

Do your volunteers require DBS checks? To request DBS checks you should be sure that the volunteer role is eligible for checking and that it is necessary. On the blog, NCVO Trusted Supplier Charity BackRoom answer some of the common questions.

DBS checks are only one part of safeguarding, so make sure you take a comprehensive approach. Take a look at our information on safeguarding on KnowHow.

Benchmarking volunteering activities

Can you help us with our research into the potential benefits of organisations comparing or benchmarking their volunteering activities? We are looking at whether this is a service we should be developing and what voluntary organisations would want from such a service.

We need your help – please complete our survey (should take about 10 minutes) or participate in our focus group. We are looking for London-based voluntary organisations (turnover £100,000 – £1 million) to participate in a focus group on Friday 23 October 9.30-11.30am at NCVO. Refreshments will be provided and travel expenses will be reimbursed. If you are interested in attending, please contact Andy Curtis on andy.curtis@ivr.org.uk.

Online volunteering systems

Many thanks to all those from infrastructure and frontline volunteering involving organisations (VIOs) who completed the surveys on online volunteering systems. We now have the results and are organising another roundtable in January 2016 to bring together representatives from infrastructure and VIOs with Do-it and the Cabinet Office. If you are interested in learning more about the results then please email volunteering@ncvo.org.uk.

Coming up…

Employer supported volunteering – National Volunteering Forum, 30 November

Join us at the next National Volunteering forum on Monday 30 November in London to explore employer supported volunteering (ESV). The Conservative government pledge of three days paid volunteering leave for employees of larger organisations has put ESV in the spotlight. This new policy has potential but what are the implications for the future of ESV? How does this fit with other approaches to building relationships to unlock the potential of volunteering?

Plus, if you are interested in ESV, take a look at this recent online report from the European Conference on Corporate Volunteering, hosted by Credit Suisse and the International Association for Volunteer Efforts.

International Volunteer Managers Day, 5 November

On 5 November, we’ll be celebrating International Volunteer Managers Day. This year, the theme is ‘the power behind the super hero volunteers’. What are you planning to mark International Volunteer Managers Day? We’d love to hear from you! Let us know in the comments section or tweet us.

Trustees’ Week, 2-8 November 2015

We’ll be celebrating the fantastic contribution of trustees during Trustees’ Week, 2 – 8 November. Kicking off the week, we have the NCVO/BWB Trustee Conference on Monday 2 November at Kings Place, championing best practice in governance. Book now – or if you are interested in promoting your work get in touch with Michelle Brister for more information about exhibition packages (email michelle.brister@ncvo.org.uk or call 07801 034002).

What are you planning? Leave us a comment below or get in touch on Twitter. Plus, follow all the action on Twitter with the hashtag #trusteesweek.


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Emily was NCVO’s trainee volunteering development policy officer. She is interested in policy around volunteering, particularly diversity in volunteering, employability, volunteering in public services, and employer supported volunteering.

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