Volunteering round-up: May 2020

Welcome to this month’s round-up. Volunteers and volunteering organisations continue to meet the challenges of coronavirus, adapting to the recent adjustments regarding lockdown rules, while observing social distancing to keep communities and service users safe.

We have updated our guidance on involving volunteers following the government’s guidance released 11 May.

Easing restrictions

There is an intention to ease everyone back into workplaces by 4 July at the earliest, while maintaining social distancing rules and making places of work compliant with official guidance. We have updated our guidance on protecting staff and volunteers. To help, the government have widened eligibility for free coronavirus testing. Firstly this was to include key worker volunteers. Now it is available to anyone displaying symptoms above the age of five years. To book a test, visit the NHS website.

The government’s job retention scheme is a grant for employees who have been furloughed. This scheme has been extended until the end of October. Currently the scheme remains unchanged until the end of July. Read our guidance on furloughing and sign up here to receive updates.

#VolunteerSafely Twitter chat

Thanks to everyone who popped into our #VolunteerSafely Twitter chat on 28 May jointly hosted with Volunteering Matters UK. Lots of questions and came up about returning to volunteering post lockdown, how to support volunteers in new socially distanced spaces and support their emotional wellbeing. Follow the hashtag to view the tweets and the key learning points . We will be exploring these issues further in the forthcoming online National Volunteering Forum jointly hosted with the Association of Volunteer Managers.

Coronavirus and volunteering webinars

Earlier this month we ran two coronavirus-themed webinars: Involving volunteers during the pandemic and How to involve and safeguard volunteers. Find out more about recent and upcoming webinars.

Volunteers’ Week 2020

A reminder that although NCVO has made the difficult decision to withdraw from this year’s campaign, many organisations are still going ahead and there will be much activity on social media and through online gatherings. The Volunteers’ Week website resources will be available and we’ll be supporting by sharing your tweets and cheering you all on.

The #IWill campaign will be sharing thank you messages for young people on social media on #PowerofYouth day 3 June as part of Volunteers’ Week. Use the hashtag to follow the action.

National Volunteering Forum: Volunteering after lockdown eases

We’re going online with the next NVF and will be hosting a joint event with the Association of Volunteer Managers on 18 June (date tbc). The NVF will explore how the pandemic has impacted volunteering, practical steps to take  after lockdown including transitioning volunteers to their roles and how to support those unable to return. If you would like to get in touch to give a short talk about the steps your organisation is taking to readjust to life post lockdown, please email jarina.choudhury@ncvo.org.uk. Details of how to register will follow shortly on the events page of our website.

Other blogs/updates

In his latest blog post, Shaun Delaney, volunteering development manager, makes the case for the need for joined up local and national volunteering coordination. Local insight and expertise is crucial to the success of our national response. Shaun explains how bringing local, national and global partners together, the Voluntary and Community Sector Emergencies Partnership offers much-needed coordination and learning.

If your organisation is approached by an employer offering their employees to volunteer with you, but you are unable to host volunteers or do not currently need support, you can signpost them to Volunteering MattersHelpforce AssistBritish Red Cross and Business in the Community who can direct their employee volunteering efforts to where they are most needed.

 

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Jarina Choudhury Jarina is our volunteering development consultancy officer. Jarina develops consultancy and training services with the aim of improving volunteering practice across the public, private and voluntary sectors.

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