Volunteering round-up: January 2017

Happy new year!

We would like to wish all of our readers and your volunteers a very happy new year! The volunteering development team here at NCVO is currently planning for the year ahead and we really want to shine the spotlight on volunteering and volunteer management in our policy and practical support.

As NCVO’s chief executive said in his new year letter to the sector on Monday, this is a year in which we want NCVO and the whole sector to be bold for volunteering.

Five questions about volunteering in 2017

Nick Ockenden’s blog post sets out some important questions we should all be thinking about for volunteering in 2017, from what’s happening to independent volunteering to what the role of volunteering in public services is.

National Volunteering Forum – 19 January

We are looking forward to seeing many of you at our next National Volunteering Forum, being held at NCVO on 19 January. We will be discussing volunteering in the public sector and what charities can learn. The event is now fully booked but you can follow the discussion online using the #Volforum hashtag on Twitter. Content and presentations from the day will be available in our next round up.

National Citizen Service bill – update

NCVO has been coordinating a response on behalf of the sector to the National Citizen Service (NCS) bill in the House of Lords – see our briefings. We are supportive of the bill but also see it as an opportunity to reflect on what has been successful, and how the youth social action opportunities provided by NCS can lead to a lifetime of social action.

We have welcomed the government’s recognition of this in its decision to amend the preamble of the royal charter to state that other organisations supporting young people should benefit from the actions of the NCS Trust, and also that, following the debates in the Lords, the Minister for Civil Society has written to the trust to set out expectations that the trust report on relationships with the sector beyond their legal reporting responsibilities included in the charter.

We understand that the trust intends to consult about introducing a place-based approach to NCS, which is a positive step. It is important that commissioning is done in such a way that supports small local organisations to effectively deliver the programme.

The bill is now at the House of Commons stage, the second reading took place on 16 January. Follow the bill’s progress

Your volunteers’ legal status and offering rewards

Jarina Choudhury looks at the results from some polls ran during a webinar on volunteering and the law last month, clarifying essential information on legal status and reward and recognition for volunteer managers.

Volunteers and the law – new resource

We recently did some user research for our forthcoming online guide, Volunteers and the law – a big thank you to everyone who took part and congratulations to the three lucky people who won a free copy of our Volunteering Impact Assessment Toolkit.

Volunteers and the law is a thorough overview of all the legal issues around volunteering, including volunteers and employment status, health and safety, and data protection. The research has helped us to improve the structure of the guide, which will make it easier for you to find answers to your legal questions about volunteering. The guide will be available exclusively to NCVO members on NCVO Knowhow Nonprofit over the next few months.

However if you need some information on this topic now, we held a webinar in December and you can view the recording.

Need some training this year?

Develop your volunteer management with our excellent training courses. NCVO members receive a 30% discount.

  • Volunteering and the law – London, 1 February.
  • Value of volunteering: How to calculate it and how to communicate it – London, 3 February. We invite chief executives, directors, trustees and heads of volunteering to join us for this breakfast seminar, chaired by Karl Wilding.
  • View our online video course on good practice in volunteer management, free for NCVO members.

Resources for mentoring and befriending

NCVO’s research team have launched a web resource full of materials to help organisations with mentoring and befriending projects monitor and evaluate their work. It includes how-to guides, sets of indicators, signposting to evaluation frameworks and other materials. This is part of a project funded by the City Bridge Trust, offering free workshop places and research mentoring for London-based organisations as part of the project. Please contact Andy Curtis for details.

How do you support your trustees?

Does your organisation support trustees in any way? If so, please complete our survey.

We want to hear what support charity trustees need to carry out their roles, and whether they are getting it. This survey is part of the Trustee Awareness Research Project and aims to understand the support needs of trustees – including what provisions are currently available and to highlight any important gaps.

Making a contribution to your community in later life

Ageing Better have released a new report on the benefits of volunteering for older people following the government announcement of £4m in funds for charities and public services to boost volunteering in people aged 50 and over. It demonstrates that volunteering has positive benefits overall for older people as it improves their mental health, social connections, self-esteem, and happiness and wellbeing.

Dates for your diary

  • Data protection seminar – Manchester, 26 January
    Get up to date on the latest developments in data protection legislation and find out what you need to do to ensure you stay within the law. Find out more and book your place today.

Join us to share knowledge and ideas with other charity leaders and explore all the key elements you need to consider when running your organisation. Further your professional development in our range of expert-led workshops, including ‘what does the future hold for volunteering?’ and ‘volunteering in public services’. Find out more and book your place today

Celebrating success

Congratulations to those who achieved the VCQA quality standard in December.


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Liz Woodman is volunteering development assistant at NCVO, she supports all the work of the volunteering development team. Liz previously worked as volunteering officer for Alzheimer’s Society’s Central London office and co-ordinated the work of a busy volunteer centre in Bristol. She is passionate about volunteering and volunteers with a number of different organisations herself.

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