Volunteering round-up: October 2017

Full-time social action review

NCVO have submitted our response to the full-time social action review. We said volunteering can bring profound benefits to young people and that full-time volunteering is no different.

However, full-time volunteering may be inaccessible to some young people, especially those with caring responsibilities and those without a support network or financial stability. We therefore urged the panel to think carefully about how we can ensure full-time volunteering is accessible and part of a wider offer of flexible and diverse opportunities for all young people.

The panel is expected to report back by the end of the year. NCVO will be following the review and publishing our full response.

House of Lords committee into citizenship and civic engagement

Last month, NCVO submitted evidence to the Lords committee on citizenship and civic engagement.

Our submission highlighted the important role that charities play in providing opportunities for civic engagement through volunteering. Last week, the committee heard oral evidence from National Citizen Service, Step up to Serve and the Scouts Association on how volunteering engages young people.

The deadline for submissions is now closed but contact the clerk if you wish to make a late submission.

NVF: Digital and volunteering

Last month, the National Volunteering Forum met to discuss how digital is transforming volunteering and to share good practice in volunteer management. See a run-down of the day and access the slides.

The National Volunteering Forum brings together infrastructure organisations and volunteer-involving charities to discuss issues around volunteering, feed into NCVO’s policy positions and to network. We run three events every year, with at least one outside London.

Volunteering improves mental health

It was world mental health day last week. Sir Stuart Etherington, chief executive of NCVO, outlined how volunteering can improve mental health.

The Wildlife Trusts published evidence that supports the link between volunteering and improved wellbeing. A survey amongst their volunteers showed that two-thirds noticed improved wellbeing within six weeks. Half of those who started with low mental wellbeing reported improved wellbeing after 12 weeks.

Celebrate volunteer managers on 5 November

International Volunteer Managers Day (#IVMDay2017) is on 5 November – celebrate the contribution of volunteer managers.

This year, charities are being urged to ‘be the voice’ for volunteer managers and demonstrate how they are agents and advocates of change for volunteers and volunteering.

#iwill week 2017: Building communities through youth social action 

#iwill week is taking place on 20-24 November. Find out about events in your area and how you can get involved.

The week celebrates the power of volunteering and social action in supporting young people to change their communities and themselves. It also marks the fourth anniversary of the #iwill campaign, which has done great work to promote the power of volunteering to young people.

True or false?

True or false? If you are under the age of 16, you cannot volunteer at a charity shop.

To find out the answer to this question and learn about how GDPR will affect volunteers, book your place at Volunteering and the Law, 24 November.

Social prescribing: NHS England free conferences

NHS England are running free social prescribing conferences in November.

These are open to voluntary organisations interested in how social prescribing can be embedded across the health and wellbeing system.

Together we can: New volunteer resources

Together for short lives have released fantastic resources for organisations developing volunteering services.

The guidance is aimed specifically at organisations designing volunteer support services for families of a child with a life-limiting or life-threatening condition. However, these accessible resources should be of real interest to any volunteer-involving organisation.

Nesta Connecting Communities Innovation fund

A partnership between Nesta and the Office for Civil Society is providing up to £4 million in grants to projects mobilising the time and talents of communities in a number of different ways.

Eligible projects are invited to submit a short expression of interest by midday on 30 October 2017.

Volunteering survey

Please complete and circulate this short survey on volunteering, carried out by University of Reading Student Jack Abrey, for his final year BSc Geography Dissertation.

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:

  • Data Protection Reform courses – various. Navigate the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) reforms.

3 November, Birmingham

29 November, Exeter
1 December, London

12 January, London


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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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