Volunteering round-up: June 2018

Volunteers’ Week 2018

Volunteers’ Week is over for another year but what a week it has been! Over 650 events were registered on our website, and we know hundreds more took place across the UK. #VolunteersWeek trended in the UK and worldwide on Twitter, while incredible stories of volunteering flooded social media, newspapers, television and radio. See some of the highlights on Instagram and Facebook.

We’re already planning for next year. If you want to be involved in supporting or coordinating the campaign, or are interested in working with us to produce engaging content, get in touch.

Modernising the DBS: have your say

In March, we told you that the Public Accounts Committee was looking into delays to the modernisation of the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). The committee have now reported back, confirming the modernisation process has been delayed and overbudget, with negative impacts on customers.

The DBS has reacted positively to the report and are keen to work with NCVO and our members to understand how the update service can be improved. We will be holding a joint focus group for charities and voluntary organisations to discuss this in London on 2 July. Find out more here, including how to get involved.

National Volunteering Forum

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is finally here, and on 15 May, we welcomed 50 organisations to our National Volunteering Forum to discuss how it affects the world of volunteering. Read a summary of the day and access the slides.

Our next National Volunteering Forum will be held in Birmingham on 13 September and will explore incentivised volunteering. Keep those eyes peeled for further updates.

Civil society strategy

NCVO have responded to the consultation which will inform the government’s Civil Society Strategy. The strategy is intended to act as a guiding template for decisions that government wishes to make over the next decade.

At the heart of our response, is a desire for a strategy which promotes a thriving, independent and diverse civil society and focusses on making it easier for people to get involved in their communities.

Loneliness, young people and volunteering

Contrary to public perceptions, people aged 16-24 are more likely to express feelings of loneliness than any other age group.

NCVO researcher John Davies delves into the evidence to explore whether volunteering can help address this problem and if so, how charities can better shape their programmes to reach out to young people in need.

Community Transport

In his latest piece for the brilliant ‘The Alternatives’ series, Aditya Chakrabortty looks at how a community in Witney stepped in to maintain its essential bus service.

This spotlight on community transport is welcome, though there is still much concern among the sector that proposed changes to transport legislation will have a major impact on the ability for similar services to continue to operate.

A number of MPs criticised these proposed changes in a recent Westminster Hall debate, including the potential impacts to volunteer drivers. If you are at all concerned about this issue, get in touch with the Community Transport Association (CTA) who are leading the campaign.

Corporate volunteering

An exchange in Third Sector between Joe Saxton (founder of nfpSynergy) and Rhoda Steel (UK head of corporate social responsibility at Johnson & Johnson), will be of interest to those thinking about employer-supported volunteering.

Given that a lack of time is the most cited reason people give for not volunteering, NCVO supports statutory volunteering leave, as called-for in our 2017 general election manifesto. This exchange throws up some interesting questions on the practicalities of such a policy for employers.

New trustee welcome pack

The Charity Commission has launched its new welcome pack which will be sent to new trustees. The pack is designed to introduce trustees to their role and has been described by Sarah Atkinson, director of policy, planning and communications at the Charity Commission as a ‘friendly but firm regulatory welcome handshake’.

Training

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

Based on our Approved Provider Standard (APS), NCVO’s specialist quality standard for mentoring or befriending projects, this 2 day course will give you practical guidance on how to set up and manage an effective mentoring or befriending programme.

This workshop will give you step-by-step guidance on how to assess the impact your volunteers are having your organisation, your beneficiaries, and themselves, as well as on the wider community and other stakeholders.

 

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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.

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