Volunteering round-up: January 2020

Time Well Spent: Volunteering in the public sector

On Monday, we released our second focused Time Well Spent report on volunteering in the public sector. It draws on our survey of over 10,000 adults across Great Britain, and looks more-in depth at the experience of those volunteering in the public sector. This includes their perceptions of the organisation and their relationship with paid staff. You can read the full report, which concludes with a range of questions for practitioners and decision makers to consider when designing and managing public sector volunteering programmes. Amy McGarvey, lead researcher on the project, talks us through some of the key takeaways from the report in her latest blog.

Time Well Spent: Diversity and volunteering

We’re also getting underway with our next focused Time Well Spent report, on diversity and volunteering. We’ll be looking at this area in more detail than previous themes, given its breadth and complexity, and looking at this issue from different perspectives – more detail on what we’ll be doing can be found in Amy McGarvey’s blog.

For the first stage, we want to hear from volunteer-involving organisations: what you’re doing, your aims and priorities, as well as your experiences of diversity and volunteering. As part of this, we’ll be running a number of workshops – details are yet to be confirmed but we’ll be running one at our NCVO offices on 27 February (10am-12pm). This’ll be an opportunity to hear about what we know so far and discuss your views and share experiences with other organisations. If you’re interested in taking part in this or getting involved in other ways, please email Amy at amy.mcgarvey@ncvo.org.uk or fill in this quick form and tell us a bit about your organisation.

Maintaining Bridges: Together shaping the volunteering research agenda

The Maintaining Bridges event on the afternoon of 9 March will bring together volunteer-involving organisations, volunteer managers, policymakers and researchers to strengthen collaborative working around volunteering research. This follows on from the Building Bridges workshop at NCVO in 2018 and a panel discussion at the VSSN Research Conference last year. The event will be run jointly by NCVO, AVM, VSSN, IVR and NNVIA, is free to attend and will be held at NCVO’s conference suite in London. You can find out about the objectives for the day, view the programme and book your place now.

Brexit: What does it mean for volunteering?

Following the election result last month, we now know the UK will definitely leave the EU on 31 January and move into a transition period until, at the earliest, 31 December 2020. Shaun Delaney, NCVO volunteering development manager, blogged in October about what Brexit could mean for volunteering and volunteers and tells us what volunteer-involving organisations can do to prepare.

Call for awards and events

We’re excited for another year packed full of awards and events celebrating and recognising all things volunteering and volunteers. This includes Village Halls Week, International Volunteer Managers Day, International Volunteer Day and of course Volunteers’ Week. But we know there’s many other volunteering events and awards that don’t get the same amount of attention as these large international and national ones – if your organisation is running an award or event celebrating volunteering, we’d love to hear so we can shine a spotlight on it on our social media. You can email me at charles.gillies@ncvo.org.uk.

Village Halls Week 2020

The second ever Village Halls Week will run from 20-26 January, a campaign celebrating ‘rural community spaces and the people whose time and dedication keep them going’, including volunteers and volunteer managers. You can find out more about the campaign on the ACRE website and follow #VillageHallsWeek to see what people are talking about on Twitter during the week.

Investing in Volunteers – be bold when planning your volunteering strategy for 2020

Investing in Volunteers (IiV) can help you focus on what you want to champion and what you’d like to do differently this year. It’ll help you ensure a positive culture for volunteering throughout 2020.

South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) successfully achieved their Investing in Volunteers award last year and they’re a great example of how IiV has helped to support change throughout the organisation. Read just a taste of what Robert Horton, Responder Manager, has to say about their IiV journey:

‘My objectives were to challenge what we do and how we do it; drive the future plan by setting it on the correct path and ensure that we co-design our direction and not from behind a desk. There is now a great level of excitement about the future of volunteering across the whole organisation. The feeling is that what we are doing, or have already changed, ensures the volunteering experience is the best it can be. There are many benefits in achieving IiV, although how it has raised the profile of volunteering both internally and externally for our organisation has been beyond any aspiration.’

Read more about the benefits of IiV or contact the team to find out more about starting your own IiV journey to champion your vision for volunteering in 2020.

Training and events

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

Good practice in volunteer management – 6 March, 24 April and several other dates in 2020 – NCVO Conference Suite, London (One-day course running on several 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, 18 May, 4 December 2020  – NCVO Conference Suite, London (One-day course running on three separate dates)
This one-day course introduces the basics of safeguarding specifically within a volunteer manager’s role. It highlights effective safeguarding practice when working with and supporting volunteers.

Volunteering and the Law –14 February, 3 July, 13 November 2020 – NCVO Conference Suite, London (One-day course running on three separate dates)
This one-day course helps you to understand volunteering and 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, 8 June, 28 September, 7 December 2020 – NCVO Conference Suite, London (One-day course running on four separate dates)
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 and other stakeholders.

NCVO Annual Conference 2020 – 20 April 2020 – The Brewery, London
Join 600 colleagues at the largest event in the voluntary sector calendar, for an uplifting and inspiring day of learning, exchanging ideas and networking. There are two breakout sessions geared towards volunteer managers, one focusing on flexible volunteering and the other looking at practical inclusivity and volunteering.

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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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