Volunteering round-up: February 2017

Volunteers’ Week 2017: You make the difference

We’re very excited to confirm further details of Volunteers’ Week 2017, our annual campaign to celebrate volunteering in the UK.

From 1-7 June 2017 we want organisations to let volunteers know that they make a huge difference, and to inspire others to think how they can make a difference too.

Whether it’s running an event or sharing thank you messages on social media, tell us what you’re planning by commenting on Kristen’s blog post, add your event to our event’s map or tweet us @NCVOvolunteers #volunteersweek.

Sign up to updates (including links to resource packs when they are published). Regular updates will also be posted on our monthly volunteering round-up blog post.

Equipping ourselves in turbulent times

How do political, social, economic and technological advances influence the context in which volunteering takes place?

Kristen Stephenson’s recent blog post on the changing face of volunteering outlines some key ways in which organisations can adjust their approach to volunteering in the face of such change, to ensure it’s fit for the future.

Also, our annual report, The Road Ahead, looks at the broader challenges facing charities in the coming year – including Brexit, austerity and demographic shifts. Despite these great challenges, we see opportunities for the unique qualities of volunteers and voluntary organisations as central to future solutions.

The full Road Ahead report is exclusive to NCVO members, but non-members can access a blog and summary.

Volunteers are critical to our much-loved parks

Our parks are at the core of our communities in cities, towns and villages across the country. However there are major concerns over their future sustainability following media reports that 92% of park budgets have been cut.

Nick Ockenden outlines the essential role volunteers can play in maintaining our communal green spaces and in new, collaborative models of delivery.

Encouraging signs from the National Youth Social Action survey

Last week the #iwill campaign launched their findings from The National Youth Social Action survey. It reaffirms the value of volunteering for young people and encouragingly, finds that more young people from disadvantaged backgrounds are now taking part in voluntary action.

There are however concerns of a gap in supply and demand – suggesting more can be done to create quality volunteering opportunities for young people.

Linked to this, #iwill have mapped 1.2 million youth social action opportunities to Horizon, a new digital platform. You can search the tool to understand how young people are making a difference in your area and even add your own data!

Enabling social action

The New Economics Foundation (NEF) and Office for Civil Society (OCS) have launched a new toolkit to help commissioners to consider the role of voluntary action in public services.

The toolkit provides resources, case studies and ideas of how social action can be embedded in existing services, and how they can be expanded.

Have a look at Sir Stuart Etherington’s new year letter and Karl Wilding’s blog post for previous comment from NCVO on volunteering and public services.

OCS and Nesta announce new funding

Rob Wilson MP also announced two new funds totalling £2m to be managed by Nesta and OCS.

  • The Savers Support Fund will be used to scale existing approaches to assist ‘just about managing’ families to better manage money.
  • The Early Years Social Action Fund will boost existing volunteer-led initiatives supporting parents of 0-4 year olds.

Upcoming training

Volunteering development training:

New mentoring and befriending training

NCVO Mentoring and Befriending has launched its training calendar for 2017/18. As well as continuing the most popular courses, three new training courses have been added, including ‘An introduction to coaching skills’.

Have a look at Andy Curtis’ blog post on the value of mentoring and befriending programmes.

See full information on courses and how to book

Upcoming events

NCVO Annual Conference 2017: Leading with purpose

Join us on 20 April as we bring together leaders from across the sector to explore how we can all survive, thrive and lead with purpose.

Alongside speeches from Julia Unwin CBE, Sir Stuart Etherington and Bear Grylls, you can further your development in our range of expert-led workshops on topics including what the future holds for volunteering and volunteering in public services.

NCVO/BWB Trustee Conference 2017

The NCVO/BWB Trustee Conference 2017 will take place on 14 November in central London. The theme will be ‘good governance in action’.

Register your interest for more information about this conference as it becomes available.

Congratulatory corner

Congratulations to Volunteer Centre Tower Hamlets who have achieved Volunteer Centre Quality Accreditation this month!

And congratulations to the 25 organisations who achieved the Investing in Volunteers standard last month!

As ever, it’s great to see more and more organisations achieving their accreditation and proving their knowledge of best practice in the sector.

See more information on the quality standards we offer

Please share your views in the comments section below or give us tips for anything we’ve missed this month!


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Avatar photo Up until July 2018, Will supported NCVO’s policy work on volunteering development. His interests include the role of volunteering in public services and removing barriers to youth volunteering. He produced the monthly volunteering round-up blog and supported Volunteers’ Week.

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