Volunteering round-up: August 2017

Do you support citizenship and civic engagement?

A new Lords committee has called for evidence of how to develop citizenship and civic engagement in modern society.

Charities are often the vehicle for people to engage with society and so this is a fantastic opportunity for charities to have their voices heard and help influence the government’s agenda. We will be telling the committee about the enormous contribution that charities and volunteers make to civic engagement. We are also encouraging charities, of all sizes, to consider submitting evidence to the committee.

NCS and Scouts in partnership

NCVO welcomes the exciting announcement of a partnership between the Scouts Association and National Citizen Service (NCS). This partnership will see local Scout groups delivering the NCS programme and NCS graduates helping to both grow Scouting in areas of deprivation and becoming young leaders in Scouting.

Earlier this year, following the Public Accounts Committee report into NCS, we called for NCS to work more closely with local and national volunteering organisations to improve the social action part of its programme. This development shows great intent to address such concerns and we hope further partnerships can be built to deliver high-quality volunteering opportunities for thousands of young people.

National Volunteering Forum- Volunteering and digital

Our next National Volunteering Forum (NVF) will take place on Wednesday 27 September in central Manchester – please save the date!

In the morning session, join our team and a panel of experts to discuss the opportunities and challenges digital presents for volunteering. In the afternoon, Volunteer Centre Manchester will be facilitating an interactive session for attendees to share ideas and inspire each other to improve approaches to volunteer management.

Thank you to those of you who completed our recent online survey which has provided us with feedback that will help us improve future events. This feedback has also informed our decision to now make the forum an NCVO member benefit. All members will be able to attend all three forums per year for free. Non-members will now pay a fee of £40 to attend to cover the cost of refreshments, lunch and venue costs for the day.

You will be able to book online next week via Eventbrite. Keep an eye out on @NCVOvolunteers for updates.

BBC wants to hear from community projects

A new BBC programme is looking for examples of community groups delivering extraordinary projects on limited resources.

This is an opportunity to get high profile recognition of the brilliant work of charities and volunteers and spread some positive stories from our sector. For more information email CommunitySpirit@bbc.co.uk.

Mentoring and Befriending

Most mentors and befrienders are volunteers, providing invaluable support, practical help and company to often vulnerable or isolated people.

NCVO’s mentoring and befriending team runs the Approved Provider Standard (APS), the national quality standard for mentoring and befriending projects.

Our mentoring and befriending team has undergone several changes in recent months. We have moved operations from Manchester and have welcomed a new team to our London office, comprising:

For further information about the APS, please contact Liz or Adam by email or on 020 7520 2437.

Do you need support with developing a volunteering strategy?

We will be holding a focus group for six to eight volunteer managers in September with a view to developing two low-cost facilitated learning seminars this financial year, with guest speakers. We invite you to register your interest for the focus group by emailing Jarina: jarina.choudhury@ncvo.org.uk. We cannot cover travel expenses for the focus group but we will provide lunch.

Heard our podcast on flexible volunteering?

We’re running a podcast pilot series and would love your feedback. The first episode looks at flexible volunteering in response to changing trends – do have a listen and let us know what you think. You can:

AVM conference

Bookings for AVM 2017: The Annual Conference are now open.

This event, run by the Association of Volunteer Managers, is a fantastic opportunity to network with other volunteer managers, share ideas and learn from a number of seminars. Keynote speakers this year include Julie Bentley, CEO of Girlguiding and Vicky Browning, CEO of Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations (ACEVO).

The conference takes place in central London on 18 October.

Congratulatory corner

IiV achievers

Have a look at the latest organisations to successfully achieve their Investing in Volunteers accreditation!  Well done all. Find out about the national accreditation for good volunteer management and how you can apply.

VCQA achievers

There are also two new Volunteer Centre Quality Accreditation (VCQA) achievers this month! Congratulations to Thanet Volunteer Bureau and Volunteer Centre West Lancashire!

VCQA is the quality mark for Volunteer Centres (and other organisations providing Volunteer Centre functions). It is widely recognised by commissioners and funders as assurance that a Volunteer Centre is providing a high quality and effective service.

JCB heroes winners

JCB workwear have announced the winner the JCB Heroes competition. Steven Cullabine, a joiner from Sheffield, won the award for his volunteering with Woodhead Mountain Rescue.

This award was set up to recognise professionals from the trades, construction and agricultural industries who make a positive contribution to their community through volunteering. Our very own Jarina was on the judging panel.

Training and events

NCVO offer a range of training courses, including e-learning, one-day events and annual conferences. Here’s what’s coming up:


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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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