Volunteering round-up: December 2015

Volunteering isn’t just for Christmas

… but it’s a good place to start. At NCVO we get lots of enquiries from prospective volunteers wanting to give their time over the Christmas period. On the blog, Kathryn Harrington has some ideas about where volunteers can get started. What festive volunteering opportunities do you know about? Leave us a comment below.

Give yourself a gift this Christmas

Running out of present ideas? Invest in volunteer management with our training courses. Book now for an early bird discount:

The future of employer supported volunteering

On the brink of a game-changer?

65% of workers would choose employers that support volunteering, but CIPD and NCVO’s Institute for Volunteering Research (IVR) have found that businesses and charities aren’t working together to reap the full benefits of employer supported volunteering (ESV).

This month, we launched a new report, On the brink of a game-changer?, commissioned by CIPD and conducted by IVR. This research explores how better collaboration between business and the voluntary sector is key to achieving success ESV. On the blog, researcher Andy Curtis reflects on the findings of the report.

CIPD have also published an infographic showing new data into attitudes towards ESV. For example, 44% of volunteers reported that their employer knew about their volunteering activities, but only 13% said that their employer had recognised the skills they had developed.

National Volunteering Forum

On 30 November, the National Volunteering Forum met in London to discuss the future of ESV. Hosted by IBM, the NVF debated the government’s three day volunteering pledge and shared practical experiences of developing mutually beneficial relationships between the voluntary sector and business. Catch up with the discussions with this Storify.

The corporates are coming…

How do you ensure ESV is a benefit and not a burden for your charity? We will be discussing this further with practical examples from businesses and charities at the NCVO Annual Conference on 18 April 2016. See the full programme and book online now.

We want to hear from you

Since the Conservative Party made a commitment to three days paid volunteering leave for employees of larger companies in their manifesto, we’ve been discussing the proposal to better understand how to ensure these three days can deliver the best it can for volunteers, employers, the voluntary sector and communities. What benefits does the government’s three day policy offer for you? What challenges?

We are also looking for examples of where ESV is working well. If your organisation has a successful ESV programme, get in touch with us at volunteering@ncvo.org.uk.

What’s measured gets treasured

The Community Life Survey is the best source of data we have on rates of volunteering in England and Wales. Using this data, we know that rates of formal, regular volunteering have been relatively stable over time and can see how things like gender, age, geographical location and employment status can affect volunteering (or not). We need high quality, reliable data more than ever, but the Community Life Survey is changing.

If you have ever used data from the Community Life Survey, we urge you to respond before 2 January 2016. On the blog, Nick Ockenden explains why the government needs to hear your views.

What are younger people up to?

Celebrating #iwill week

In the past year, 42% of 10-20 year olds reported taking part in “meaningful social action”. During #iwill week, Step Up to Serve published the latest research into youth social action, conducted by Ipsos MORI. On the NCVO blog, Nick Ockenden reflects on the data and what it shows in terms of social action and social class amongst young people.

If you want to involve young people in volunteering or other forms of social action, take a look at our guidance on the #iwill website.

National Citizen Service

In the Spending Review, the government announced further funding for the National Citizen Service (NCS), expanding it to deliver 300,000 places by 2019-20. Whilst we have welcomed the investment into youth social action, we are calling for the additional funding to improve how well the scheme works, as well as increase the number of volunteers.

We have also responded to a proposal that NCS be made compulsory, which was published in the Telegraph on 14 December. Volunteering has to be undertaken freely, and instead of making the scheme compulsory, Justin Davis Smith suggests that “we should be working to make the programme even more appealing, and to help young people design and develop a range of high-quality volunteering opportunities”.

Volunteering brought the community into the care home

Loneliness can affect residents in the 15,000 or so care homes operating in England. Volunteering, however, can have significant positive impacts on residents, relatives and volunteers, especially around social and emotional wellbeing. These are the findings of the interim evaluation report of our Volunteering in Care Homes project. Read more on the blog.

Elsewhere on the blog, we explore how volunteers are acting as key supplements to services in other ways:

Congratulations to VCQA achievers

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


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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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