Volunteering round-up: April 2018

 Volunteers’ Week 2018 website launched

We are thrilled to announce the brand-new website for Volunteers’ Week 2018 is now live. You’ll find inspiring volunteering stories, ways to get involved, and free downloadable resources to help make your celebrations a success. We are working hard to finish off some resources, but everything will be available to download before the end of the month.

Taking place 1–7 June, Volunteers’ Week is a chance to say thank you for the fantastic contribution volunteers make. During the week, hundreds of events and celebrations take place across the country, saying thank you to volunteers and recognising their invaluable and diverse contribution to the UK.

Volunteer experience research

We are carrying out an exciting piece of research this year – a national survey focusing on the volunteer experience, which is due to be launched in the coming weeks. NCVO researcher Amy McGarvey has blogged all about it.

It’s been over a decade since this topic was covered in a national survey and we will be sharing our learning and insights from this research later in the year to inform policy and practice across the sector.

National Volunteering Forum: GDPR and the volunteering journey

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) takes effect next month, so join us on 15 May as we explore what it means for volunteer managers at our next National Volunteering Forum (NVF).

This is a great opportunity to hear from the experts and share learning with colleagues across the sector to make sure you’re GDPR-ready.

The NVF brings together volunteer-involving organisations to discuss issues of shared concern, feed into NCVO’s policy positions and to network. We run three events every year, including at least one outside of London. Catch up on our last NVF here.

Safeguarding for volunteer managers

With continued public scrutiny over safeguarding in charities, we are putting on safeguarding training for volunteer managers on 20 April and 21 MayRead trainer Tom Burke explain why now is the time to get ahead on safeguarding.

And if you need any more proof of the importance and interest of this, it was standing-room only at the latest meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Charities and Volunteering which met to discuss safeguarding. You can catch up on what charities and parliamentarians said via #APPGCAV.

For any volunteer manager reviewing their safeguarding approach, we have lots of support in place:

DBS under scrutiny

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) are conducting an inquiry into the delayed changes to modernise the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). We’d like to thank all those who contributed to our evidence submission, despite the extremely short consultation period set by the committee.

The inquiry is looking into why the programme to modernise the DBS (which involves the introduction of the Update Service and investment in a new IT system) is late and over budget, following a critical report by the National Audit Office.

We know that an efficient DBS is important for our members, especially for those processing criminal records checks for volunteers. We’ll be keeping a close eye on developments.


Unpaid internships have received renewed media coverage of late. Shaun Delaney blogs on the recent developments.

We welcome recent moves by HMRC to clamp down on unpaid internships in the private sector and this excellent Guardian long-read by an unpaid intern shows why. However, in the rush to condemn exploitative practices, it is important we are clear when well-managed and genuinely voluntary internships in the charity sector can be a good thing.

See our guidance for charities around volunteering internships here.

Motivations and barriers of volunteering

In her latest blog, NCVO researcher Lisa Hornung looks at the latest data on why people volunteer and why they stop.

We’ll be previewing more of the latest data on charities and volunteering ahead of the NCVO Almanac 2018 launch next month. The almanac is the largest data source on the voluntary sector and volunteering. See last year’s almanac here.

Call for papers: Volunteering Research Conference 2018

We’re looking for researchers on volunteering to submit their latest work to the Voluntary Sector and Volunteering Research Conference 2018. The call for papers closes on 2 May.

For researchers doing a PhD or at the start of their careers, we’re also looking for proposals for the New Researchers session at this year’s conference.

The conference, organised by NCVO and the Voluntary Sector Studies Network (VSSN), is a unique and exciting opportunity for academics and practitioners to engage with latest evidence and research. It will take place on 6–7 September in London.

Help inform international volunteering guidance

Joe Crook, Chair of Student Volunteering Network (SVN), is putting together guidance on international volunteering, aimed at the higher education sector. If you are willing share your good practice and policies on volunteering overseas please email j.crook@uel.ac.uk.

SVN is a national peer support network of volunteering managers from universities and students’ unions around the UK and they are. You can read Joe’s excellent blog on Oxfam, university students and international volunteering here.

What we’re reading

Upcoming NCVO training

We’ve got all the training you need to become an even better volunteer manager:

  • Safeguarding for volunteer managers – 20 April 2018
    This course introduces the basics of safeguarding within a volunteer managers role and highlights effective safeguarding practice
  • Assessing the impact of your volunteers – 18 May 2018
    This course will give you step-by-step guidance on how to use the VIAT to assess the impact your volunteers are having your organisation, your beneficiaries, and themselves
  • Safeguarding for volunteer managers – 21 May 2018
    This course introduces the basics of safeguarding within a volunteer managers role and highlights effective safeguarding practice
  • Volunteering and the Law – 22 June 2018
    This course introduces volunteering and the law in relation to issues such as safeguarding, data protection, health and safety, equality and diversity, insurance, and benefits.
  • Good practice in volunteer management – 2 July 2018
    This course provides an introduction to the key principles of good practice in volunteer management and how to apply them to your organisation
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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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