Volunteering round-up: December 2019

International Volunteer Day 2019

International Volunteer Day 2019 was on 5 December, designated by the United Nations in 1985 as an international observance day for celebrating the power and potential of volunteerism. This year, the theme was ‘volunteer for an inclusive future’, highlighting UN sustainable development goal 10 and the pursuit of equality – including inclusion – through volunteerism. You can find out more on the United Nations volunteers website and see what people were talking about on Twitter on the day.

#iwill Week 2019

#iwill Week 2019 took place on 18–24 November, a week in which the sector shone a light on incredible impact of youth social action and youth volunteering. It’s clear that young people are making a positive difference in their communities in various ways, whether it is engaging in environmentalist social action, volunteering to tackle health inequalities or even sitting on trustee boards of charities.

You can find out more about the campaign on the #will website and see what people were talking about throughout the week on Twitter.

European Volunteering Capital 2021

Congratulations go to Berlin this month: the city has been announced as the European Volunteering Capital 2021 (#EVCapital2021), beating off tough competition from the small city of Strovolos in Cyprus.

The jury agreed that:

The city demonstrates a deep understanding of the role of volunteers and volunteering as the basis for a diverse and socially cohesive society and, as such, gives it due importance and support in ways that can be considered excellent practice and be used as a blueprint for other municipalities, large and small, across Europe.

You can find out more the competition on the European Volunteer Centre website.

Museums + Heritage awards 2020: Volunteer of the year award

The 18th Museums + Heritage awards are now open for entry. The awards shine a spotlight on the museums sector ‘of museums large and small – from the nationals to one-room volunteer-run museums, from iconic buildings and monuments to the great outdoors.’

The awards include a ‘volunteer of the year’ category, run in partnership with Association of Independent Museums, which recognises one volunteer or team of volunteers for their hard work, contribution and the particularly special difference they have made to a museum.

Community Leisure UK awards 2020

Entries are now open for the Community Leisure UK awards 2020. The awards recognise achievement in nine categories including an ‘outstanding volunteer’ category. The awards ceremony is taking place on 20 May 2020 in Manchester. You can find out more on the Community Leisure UK website.

Who volunteers as a family?

Over the past few weeks, NCVO has been undertaking a research project examining the links between family and volunteering, alongside colleagues at the University of Birmingham and the University of Salford. Daiga Kamerāde from the University of Salford highlights some of the key emerging findings from the project in her recent blog post.

You can find out more about the overall project by reading NCVO head of research, Véronique Jochum’s blog post published back in July.

Young volunteers and social action: the task for universities, the voluntary sector and communities

Emily Lau, lecturer at Canterbury Christ Church University and winner of the New Researcher’s Prize at this year’s Voluntary Sector and Volunteering Research Conference, has written about some of the ways in which higher education plays a vital role in helping young people take part in civil society. For example, some students are designing and conducting research alongside service users at voluntary organisations while others are volunteering for social change as part of environmentalist campaigns.

NCVO Annual Conference 2020

NCVO’s Annual Conference will be held on 20 April 2020 in London. At the conference we’ll be asking the question: what next for the voluntary sector? In this time of uncertainty, the conference will provide a space for leaders to come together to discuss the role of the sector in a rapidly changing world.

This event is largely for chief executives, directors or senior managers of voluntary organisations. It will also be useful to trustees, chairs, volunteer managers and anyone working closely with an organisation’s management team. You can view the full programme and book your place here. There are two breakout sessions geared towards volunteer managers, one focusing on flexible volunteering and the other looking at practical inclusivity and volunteering.

NCVO strategy process: Your views matter

NCVO developed its current strategy back in 2014. In many ways, the country is a vastly different place now, and yet too many volunteer-involving organisations and volunteers still face many of the same challenges.

We now have a new chief executive in post and a new government is about to be elected, so it’s a good time to be thinking about where we want to see change, the things we’ll do to achieve that, and how we’ll go about it. It is an opportunity for NCVO to listen to people across the voluntary sector, engaging with those that are new to the voluntary sector or perhaps don’t feel their voices have been listened to in the past, and reflect critically on how we can support our members better.

We want to hear your views on the big questions, for example: what is the role of NCVO in relation to volunteering and volunteer-involving organisations? What products, services and opportunities should NCVO offer members, the voluntary sector and broader civil society?

You can find out more about how we’re developing our strategy and how you can get involved. We’re keen to hear from anyone in the voluntary sector, including volunteers, volunteer managers and volunteer leaders.

Investing in Volunteers

Investing in Volunteers (IiV) is the UK quality standard for good practice in volunteer management. IiV provides the framework for high-quality volunteering from the perspective of both your volunteers and your organisation. The standard’s nine quality areas cover all aspects of volunteer involvement, ensuring an excellent volunteer experience from interview to exit.

The Investing in Volunteers journey provides an opportunity to review and develop your volunteer management programme in line with the UK standard. You will demonstrate and develop existing practice to ensure meaningful volunteering and enhance your reputation for future volunteer involvement and funding. Find out more about IiV.

Training and events

Keep up to date with latest volunteering policy, research and practice at our sector-leading training and events:

  • Good practice in volunteer management – 20 January 2020, 6 March 2020 – NCVO Conference Suite, London (One-day course running on two different dates)
    This one-day course provides an introduction to the key principles of good practice in volunteer management and how to apply them to your organisation.
  • Safeguarding for volunteer managers – 10 February 2020 – NCVO Conference Suite, London
    This one-day course introduces the basics of safeguarding specifically within a volunteer managers role. It highlights effective safeguarding practice when working with and supporting volunteers.
  • Volunteering and the law14 February 2020 NCVO Conference Suite, London
    This one-day course helps you to understand volunteeringand the law in relation to issues such as safeguarding, data protection, health and safety, equality and diversity, insurance and benefits.
  • Assessing the impact of your volunteers – 19 March 2020 – NCVO Conference Suite, London
    This one-day workshop will give you step-by-step guidance on how to assess the impact your volunteers are having on your organisation, your beneficiaries and themselves, as well as on the wider community a
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Charlie is a trainee volunteering development policy officer at NCVO, supporting NCVO's volunteering policy work. He has been volunteering since childhood in various roles, including at a community development charity working with the eastern European Roma community in Glasgow, as an adviser at a Citizens Advice bureau, and as a Scout leader.

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