Volunteering round-up: September 2020

September kicked off with the annual voluntary sector and volunteering research conference, co-hosted by Voluntary Sector Studies Network, Birmingham Voluntary Services Council and NCVO. Times Like These explored the impact of covid-19 on the voluntary sector. International responses as well as examples of our very own home-grown approaches were brought to life in this bumper packed two-day conference. If you missed it, catch the recordings here.

Levelling up our communities – Kruger Report on covid-19

Danny Kruger, MP for Devizes, has reviewed how civil society has responded to the pandemic and produced a report on how we can rebuild communities post Covid. The report contains lots of ideas that we hope will stimulate a serious debate about the role of charities and volunteering in supporting communities though the pandemic and beyond. Read NCVO’s director of public policy and volunteering, Sarah Vibert’s response for further reflections.

If you treasure it, measure it!

We have launched our monthly COVID-19 VCSE impact barometer. This is part of a collaborative research project with Nottingham Trent University and Sheffield Hallam funded by the Economic and Social Research Council. The project aims to explore the impact of covid-19 on voluntary organisations, community groups and social enterprises and asks how organisations are responding and adapting to the challenges of the pandemic, particularly in relation to workforce and volunteers. Help improve understanding of what is happening in the sector by sharing your experiences via this monthly survey.

Talking with the Trade Union Congress on better relationships between staff and volunteers

NCVO and TUC are working closely together to develop principles to strengthen relationships between paid staff and volunteers. These principles will replace the 2009 Charter between TUC and Volunteering England (now part of NCVO). The Charter has been a vital tool in supporting organisations to engage volunteers and paid staff and improving their experiences. We’ve been working with voluntary and public sector stakeholders to refresh the principles and are keen to widen our engagement with this important work over the next few months. Please do get in touch with Catherine Goodall for more information on how you can give input and feedback to the principles.

Volunteering and families

What are the links between volunteering and families? Together with the University of Birmingham and the University of Salford, we’ve been exploring how families volunteer in partnership. Veronique Jochum, head of research, shares findings in her blog.

NHS Volunteer Responders: Recruitment now open

In March Royal Voluntary Service was commissioned to deliver the NHS Volunteer Responders scheme, which was set up as part of the pandemic response to provide a safety net to protect patients, the NHS and complement existing local volunteer provision. The programme is now looking for more volunteers so it can continue supporting local communities and the NHS through the winter. There are priority geographical areas for recruitment. If you offer volunteer brokerage and are able to assist with recruiting volunteers, please contact: media@royalvoluntaryservice.org.uk

Got a spare ten minutes to complete a survey? Mobilising Volunteers Effectively

UK Research and Innovation have funded the University of Sheffield, Hull and Leeds to investigate the mobilisation of volunteers during the coronavirus pandemic through the MoVE project. They seek to understand the dynamics of volunteer supply and demand, during the UK lockdown period 23 March 2020 to 4 July 2020. They are keen to hear from the voluntary sector and local authorities and encourage you to complete their survey which closes on 5 October 2020. Participate in this survey by following the link here.

Findings will be used to capture important lessons about volunteer mobilisation, which they will share to help localities best prepare for any future lockdowns or periods of social restriction. We’ll keep you updated with blogs and in future round-ups.

Investing in Volunteers (IiV) Essentials increases your volunteering impact

We all know that volunteering can be truly transformative – both for the people that volunteer and the organisations that benefit from their time and experience.

IiV Essentials is a new free health check tool to help you ensure that your volunteers have the best possible experience and can make the biggest difference to your cause. Developed by volunteers and the staff who support them from across the UK, IiV Essentials is a simple and easy way to get started on improving the volunteer journey at your organisation.

‘The questions are specific which is very helpful. And I feel it allows us to create an action plan of what to do next.’ – IiV Essentials user.

Read more about the IiV Essentials tool and explore the free health check now.

Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service

… And as the clock struck midnight on 25 September, the nominations for the highest award in the UK to recognise the outstanding work of volunteers closed. Winners will be announced on 2 June to coincide with Volunteers’ Week 2021. We think you all deserve awards, for your enduring support to volunteers as the pandemic continues.

Dates for your diary!

21-22 October 2020, 9.30 – 13.00, both days. Association of Volunteer Managers takes their annual gathering of volunteer leaders online. The agenda and how to book are here.

NCVO training courses

Since we went online with our training, our courses are proving even more popular than the good old days of the NCVO conference suite – although we do miss the ducks on the canal. Our one-day online training courses start at 10.00 and end at 15.00.

Safeguarding Essentials in Charities: 7 October, 18 November and 8 December 2020

Good Practice in Volunteer Management: 13 November and 16 December 2020

16-20 November is #iwillWeek

Celebrate the power of youth festival. Follow #iwillWeek2020 on social media and keep an eye here for more details and how you can join in the fun.




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Avatar photo 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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