Volunteering round up: March 2017

 

Volunteers’ Week: you make the difference 1-7 June 2017

The resource pack for Volunteers’ Week 2017 has been released.

We know many of you have started planning for the annual event that celebrates volunteers and you will find everything you need in the pack to make your plans a success. Sign up on the Volunteers’ Week website and you’ll receive an email with a link to the online pack.

The pack will inspire you with ideas and advice on how to set up an event, hold an award ceremony, recruit volunteers and publicise your Volunteers’ Week celebrations. We also have lots of materials like logos, bunting and poster templates for you to get creative with.

Safer volunteering in migrant camps survey

NCVO want to understand how volunteers can be better supported in migrant camp environments in Northern Europe. We are looking for people with direct experience in this area to share their insights through a short survey.

We have two surveys, one for volunteers and one for organisations:

This is part of a safer volunteering in migrant camps project that NCVO are running in partnership with the Home Office. We aim to develop a voluntary sector-led educational campaign on the dangers and risks of organised immigration crime to migrants and volunteers.

If you have any questions about this project please contact Jarina Choudhury via email or on 020 7520 2420.

National Citizen Service: where do we go from here?

The National Citizen Service (NCS) came under some pressure this month with the release of the new National Citizen Service report , which questioned the cost, scale and impact of the government scheme. Read NCVO’s volunteering development manager Kristen’s response.

Social action is only one part of NCS but it is an area where we think real improvement can be made. As we’ve suggested before, we would particularly like to see NCS to build stronger networks with local organisations that have relevant expertise.

We are keen to continue the conversation with NCS to support them in this and as ever, welcome members’ involvement.

House of Lords report on charities

On Sunday 26 March, the House of Lords select committee on charities published its report  Stronger Charities for a Stronger Society. Have a look at our initial response.

This substantial report will be of huge interest to anyone involved in the sector. Among the wide-ranging topics covered, the report had much to say on volunteering. Look out for Kristen’s response to the report and the implications and opportunities for volunteering.

Full-time social action review

Steve Holliday, chair of Crisis and former chief executive of the National Grid, has been announced as the chair of a government review into full-time youth social action.

The review was announced by the Department of Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) in December and will look at how to increase participation in full-time social action.

We hope to contribute to the review as we are interested in how it may open-up opportunities to work with government and others to identify and address barriers to volunteering. We will be seeking to work with our members to engage  with the review.
If you would like to be involved and your organisation offers full-time volunteering opportunities that might be affected by the review, we would like to hear from you.  Please email Will Downs.

APPG discusses volunteering in later life

In late February, the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on charities and volunteering met to discuss volunteering in later life.

Representatives from Charity Aid Foundation, Centre for Ageing Better, Volunteering Matters, the Office for Civil Society and parliamentarians discussed a range of issues including barriers of mobility, ageism and the difficulty in brokering high-quality opportunities. The Civil Society website has a good summary.

We provide the secretariat for this APPG, which is a great forum for discussing issues affecting the voluntary and community sector. The group meets regularly throughout the year and welcomes attendees from the voluntary sector. Sign up to our mailing list to find out more.

New volunteering statistics from ONS

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) released a new analysis on volunteering data this month and it makes for interesting reading.

While young people are highly engaged in volunteering and volunteering levels overall are still high, the time spent on volunteering has decreased slightly. Read our head of research Nick Okenden’s take on this as he explores what this analysis means for those working with volunteers.

Upcoming training opportunities for you and your organisation

See our events listings page page for more training dates

Find out more about our member benefits  and including training discounts

Upcoming events

The next national volunteering forum will take place on 11 May in London.
We’re finalising our plans for this, but please save the date. Further information will be issued soon.

In the meantime see NCVO/BWB Trustee Conference 2017: Good governance in action- 14 November, London.

Register your interest for more information.

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Will Downs Will supports NCVO’s policy work on volunteering development. His interests include the role of volunteering in public services and removing barriers to youth volunteering. He produces the monthly volunteering round-up blog and supports Volunteers’ Week.

2 Responses to Volunteering round up: March 2017

  1. Paul Newton says:

    So you are planning to educate people fleeing massacre, rape and
    starvation in their own countries (Syria, Iraq, Turkey, Somalia etc
    etc) on the dangers of using “illegal” methods of staying alive?
    How much is the Home Office paying you for this? This is the same Home Office that has even reduced almost to zero the Dubs Amendment quota proposal to admit child refugees

    • Jarina Choudhury Jarina Choudhury says:

      Thank you for your comments. We’re doing this because we want volunteers to be aware of some of the issues they might encounter and be able to make informed choices about what they do. Many people volunteering in refugee camps like Calais and Dunkirk are first time volunteers, and many are young. Often they are volunteering outside of established organisations and they may not have an induction or guidance that they need. There are a number of areas of risk that we think it would be helpful to create guidance on, based on the experiences of people who have been volunteering there.

      We know there are issues with volunteers finding themselves in potentially difficult situations where they could inadvertently cause potential harm to themselves or a refugee. We know, for example, that experienced volunteers have concerns about the role of people traffickers and see them as exploitative and potentially dangerous to refugees, tricking or abusing them. I think it’s important that volunteers know about what to look out for so they can make an informed choice about what they do and don’t get involved with. There are also safeguarding concerns for refugees in the camp. We know that there have been issues with people who have been blocked by more established organisations from volunteering due to safeguarding concerns with them but who have still endeavoured to volunteer ‘independently’.

      This isn’t about being for or against any migration policy, it’s about supporting people to volunteer so they have a meaningful, rewarding and safe experience, as well as ensuring they don’t unwittingly take part in activities that may place themselves or refugees at risk.

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