Volunteering round-up: July 2020

Welcome to the July volunteering round-up. With further lockdown easing, we’ve updated our coronavirus and volunteers guidance here. It’ll continue to offer you up-to-date, digestible information.

Organisations are planning for volunteers to return and are busy carrying out risk assessments. We’ve produced guidance on how you can do this safely and within the law.

NCVO Civil Society Almanac 2020

Covid-19 hasn’t stopped us from launching the new NCVO Civil Society Almanac 2020, an annual publication of the state of the voluntary sector and volunteering in the UK. More than one in five people volunteered regularly in 2018/19, although rates differ by demographics.

You can find all data on the website. Our summary blog, explores some of the findings and what they mean in the current context. Most of the volunteering data comes from the Community Life Survey, which has just released its latest version.

What can you learn from our webinar?

Quite a lot! We held a webinar called Volunteering in a Pandemic: Lessons from volunteering organisations. This was a summary of lessons learned at the National Volunteering Forum on 18 June. Listen to the webinar recording here.

Volunteering policy: Danny Kruger review

The presence of local volunteering infrastructure has strengthened volunteers’ abilities to support those most affected by the pandemic. NCVO contributed to the Danny Kruger review, making the case that a well-resourced and effective volunteering infrastructure is vital to:

  • coordinating local volunteer responses
  • connecting volunteers with statutory services
  • building community resilience.

Covid-19 Volunteering Evidence Gathering Group

The covid-19 evidence group continues to meet and feed into NCVO’s weekly webinars. The group has developed a question bank which’ll soon be available on IVR’s website. This is for anyone thinking of running surveys or asking questions about volunteering and wants some tips on where to start.

The Voluntary Sector Studies Network (VSSN) has developed a covid-19 and civil society research repository. This contains details of relevant research studies taking place including specific research on volunteering.

Journey Makers

Journey Makers, a UK programme to place volunteers near shopping and bus transport hubs, is now running in Bath and Bristol with plans to further roll out across the UK.

Journey Makers is run by Volunteering Matters UK through local delivery partners and is designed to engage volunteers to offer reassurance to commuters and passengers as the lockdown is further eased. If you’re interested in being a local delivery partner, email JM@volunteeringmatters.org.uk.

Covid-19 mutual aid groups

New Local Government Network produced a podcast and a report called Communities Against Coronavirus: The Rise of Mutual Aid, with five recommendations. Find out more here.

Online events

NHS Cadets webinar

To coincide with the 72nd birthday of the NHS on 5 July, NHS England have launched a new programme with St John Ambulance called NHS Cadets. Ten thousand NHS cadets will be trained to begin volunteering within the next three years. The programme aims to provide young people with invaluable life skills, offering a route into a career in the health service.

This will help deliver on the NHS Long Term Plan commitment to double the number of volunteers in the NHS by 2021. The Cadets partnership are holding an informative and introductory webinar called, ‘Welcome to the NHS Cadets’ exclusively for voluntary and community organisations on 11 August 14.00-15.30pm. To register, email england.voluntarypartnerships@nhs.net.

VSSN Online Conference 7-8 September

This year’s Voluntary Sector and Volunteering Research Conference is co-hosted by NCVO and VSSN and will be held on Zoom. Across the two days there’ll be two plenary sessions and eight panel sessions – two of these will be specifically on volunteering.

The volunteering sessions will take place at 11.30-13.00pm on both days. There’ll be an excellent line-up of speakers presenting their research on issues relating to volunteer mobilisation, organisation and experience. You can find out more, including how to register for the conference here.

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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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