Volunteering round-up: February 2020

Brexit and volunteering

The UK left the European Union with a deal on 31 January 2020 and is now in a ‘transition period’ until at least the end of 2020. During this transition period, freedom of movement will remain in place. This means that until 31 December 2020, EU/EEA nationals will continue to be able to move to the UK to live, work and/or volunteer, and vice versa for UK nationals in EU countries.

After the transition period, EU/EEA nationals will still be able to volunteer in the UK if:

After the transition period, UK nationals will still be able to volunteer in EU/EEA countries if:

  • they are enrolled in an EU funded volunteering programme, such as Erasmus + or the European Solidarity Corps, with a placement in an EU country.

It’s important to note that under the withdrawal agreement negotiated with the EU, the UK will continue to participate fully in EU-funded volunteering programmes for their full duration. This includes where funding runs beyond the end of the transition period. However, the long-term UK membership of these schemes is still unknown.

Outside of these schemes, without a collective agreement in place, a UK national’s ability to volunteer in an EU/EEA country will largely come down to the view of the authorities of that specific country.

National Volunteering Forum: Volunteering futures/volunteering and diversity

On 12 March we will be holding our National Volunteering Forum in Bristol. This will include a morning session discussing NCVO’s strategy for volunteering over the next 10 years and an afternoon workshop focused on volunteering and diversity. Book your free place at this event now and find out below what we’ve got planned for the day.

Morning: Volunteering futures

As we begin 2020, we want to start preparing for what the new decade may have in store for volunteering and volunteer management. Come and hear about what networks and support already exist. Discuss what the future might hold for your organisation and tell us what you want from NCVO for the next 10 years.

Join us to discuss:

  • what the future holds for volunteering
  • what NCVO and other organisations should be doing to support volunteering
  • how we can best make sure volunteer leaders and managers are supported.

Afternoon: Volunteering and diversity

Enhancing diversity and inclusion can help us all achieve our aims and improve experiences of volunteering for all. This session will be a mixture of a short presentation by NCVO and a discussion about what diversity means to your organisation.

This workshop is part of a series with volunteer-involving organisations. This series will explore issues affecting diversity in volunteering and give organisations a chance to input into the third Time Well Spent focused research report. More on this can be found in our blog post. If you like the Time Well Spent research reports, come and help shape practice and policy in this area for yourselves and others involving volunteers.

Other ways to get involved

If you can’t make this forum there are other ways of getting involved:

  • We’re also holding the morning strategy session in London on 9 March (9.30–12.00). This event is now sold out however you can join the waiting list.
  • Feed into our strategy at one of our Members’ Assemblies or by getting in touch with us.
  • We are running two workshops on volunteering and diversity in London on 27 February (10.00–12.00) and 2 March (14.30–16.30). The workshop on 27 February is full but we have some availability for the workshop on 2 March. Please email Amy McGarvey if you’re interested in getting involved. You can also tell us about your organisation’s experiences of volunteering and diversity via this digital form.

Workshop: Family and volunteering

Over the last few months NCVO has been carrying out research on the links between volunteering and family in partnership with the University of Birmingham and the University of Salford. If you’re interested in hearing about the research findings and discussing what they mean for future volunteering opportunities, then join us at a free workshop at NCVO on the afternoon of 16 March.

Call for papers: Voluntary Sector and Volunteering Research Conference 2020

This year the Voluntary Sector and Volunteering Research Conference run jointly by VSSN and NCVO will be on 7 and 8 September at Aston University in Birmingham. The conference brings together researchers, practitioners and policymakers to present and discuss the latest voluntary sector and volunteering research. Booking for the conference will open shortly and the call for papers is now available. If you have conducted any research on volunteering and social action, we’d love to hear from you.

Investing in Volunteers (IiV) will help you make sure your volunteers have a great experience

Many readers of this blog manage volunteers on a regular basis and want to give them a great experience. How can we do that? How can we ensure that they receive excellent support and create a positive culture? It’s important to regularly take a step back and look at how we view volunteering in our organisations.

NCVO’s Investing in Volunteers (IiV) programme has been designed to support you with this. Once you begin the IiV journey, not only will you be able to review the nine quality areas framework of good practice, you’ll begin to feel more confident about your engagement of volunteers. You can contact the IiV team to find out more about the programme.

Student Volunteering Week 2020

This week is Student Volunteering Week, 1016 February, organised by the Student Volunteering Network (SVN). The week provides students, universities, colleges, students’ unions, charities and social enterprises with a great opportunity to showcase their student volunteering projects and events, share ideas, best practice and challenges with the rest of the sector. Find out more about the week on the SVN website and see what people are talking about on Twitter by following #SVW2020.

Student Unions will receive a 10% discount on the Investing in Volunteers (IiV) award during Student Volunteering Week. Find out more about IiV on the IiV website.

Heritage Volunteering Group Conference 2020

The Heritage Volunteering Group Conference 2020 will be held in Manchester on 12 June. The event brings together volunteering practitioners from across the sector to investigate the issues affecting volunteering today. The focus of this year’s conference will be on the role of leadership in volunteering. You can find out more about the event and book your ticket.

Seminar event: Sports Volunteering Research Network

The Sports Volunteering Research Network will be running a day-long seminar event on 11 March at Sport England in London. Researchers, practitioners and policymakers will come together to present and discuss the latest research focused on volunteering in sport.  Find out more about this event and book your free place.

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 – 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 introduces the key principles of good practice in volunteer management and explains how you can apply them to your organisation.
  • Family and volunteering workshop – 16 March – NCVO Conference Suite, London
    Whether parents volunteer or have volunteered in the past can influence the likelihood of individuals volunteering, but our knowledge about the links between family and volunteering is relatively limited. Join us at this free afternoon workshop to hear about the research findings and share information and perspectives.
  • 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.
  • Safeguarding for volunteer managers – 18 May, 4 December 2020 – NCVO Conference Suite, London (one-day course running on two 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 – 3 July, 13 November 2020 NCVO Conference Suite, London (one-day course running on two 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.


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Avatar photo 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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