Volunteering round-up: January 2021

Updated Knowhow covid guidance

We’ve updated our coronavirus Involving Volunteers guidance to help you be clear about the national lockdown for England that came into effect on 6 January 2021.

Volunteering from home: expenses

With the current national lockdown, where possible, volunteering must take place from home. The same rules continue to apply regarding volunteer expenses pre-pandemic, in that volunteers can only receive reimbursement for expenses incurred because of volunteering. This can include additional costs incurred for volunteering from home and should be reflected in your Expenses policy. Evidence of expenditure continues to be required and this should also be outlined in your Expenses policy.

Covid-19 Voluntary Sector Impact Barometer

We have published our latest findings from the Response, recover, reset: the voluntary sector and covid-19 January 2021 in a colourful report. The report highlights findings from the third phase of our barometer survey and explores the impact that covid is having on the sector. The fourth phase of the barometer survey closes 28 January 2021 at midnight. You are invited to tell us how covid is impacting your organisation, staff, services, volunteers – the survey takes about 15 minutes. You can also view the interactive dashboard for the third phase that took place 30 November to 14 December 2020.

Time Well Spent: Volunteering and Diversity report

The latest report in the NCVO’s Time Well Spent series on volunteering, explores diversity. Based on a review of existing evidence and field research, this report looks into differences in volunteering participation levels and experiences, how diversity is viewed and experienced by organisations, key issues, learning and reflections, and implications for volunteering practice. For a summary of research findings, take a look at this blog.

The Road Ahead 2021

What are your hopes and fears for the voluntary sector and volunteering? We have published The Road Ahead. This report is our annual analysis of the changing operating environment for anyone working or volunteering in the voluntary sector. It identifies and explains forces and trends that are shaping the sector and are likely to have an impact on organisations in the future.

Recruitment of vaccination volunteers

Royal Voluntary Service is working in partnership with St John Ambulance to help recruit volunteers to three roles they are delivering for the NHS vaccination effort; volunteer vaccinator, vaccination care volunteer and volunteer patient advocate. These roles are recruited through the NHS Volunteer Responder website and St John Ambulance will be providing the training and ongoing support to all of the volunteers recruited and deployed. These roles are separate to the NHS Volunteer Responders Vaccination Steward Volunteer role delivered by Royal Voluntary Service in partnership with GoodSAM on behalf of NHSE. Due to the fantastic response to the call for Steward Volunteers, recruitment to this role is now paused although people can still register their interest.

NHS Volunteer Responder webinars – for referring organisations

NHSVR is the largest mobilisation of volunteers in peacetime since the 2012 Olympics. Stay updated about how NHSVR is performing. These webinars are for referring organisations and people who work or volunteer in health and/or care. Royal Voluntary Service will explain how the programme works and give guidance on how to make and manage referrals. NHS England and NHS Improvement will cover updates including programme alignment, evolving roles and how the programme may develop beyond 31 March 2021. Dates for the next webinars and links to join them (on Microsoft Teams) are below:

Mobilising Voluntary Action in the four UK countries: Learning from today, prepared for tomorrow

NCVO is working with SCVO, WCVA and Volunteer Now on a research project at Northumbria University to explore voluntary action during covid-19. Funded by the UK Research Institute this project will compare voluntary action policy frameworks across the four nations in response to covid-19 and their effectiveness. In particular, an exploration into who has responded to the call to volunteer during the pandemic and whether the profile of volunteers has changed. Looking forward, this project will evaluate social welfare voluntary action responses to the pandemic, to help guide the UK volunteer effort toward national recovery and future preparedness. Listen to this podcast to find out more and follow @MVAin4

National Volunteering Forum: Engaging volunteers and paid staff

We held our second National Volunteering Forum with the Association of Volunteer Managers on 8 December 2020 on Engaging Volunteers and Paid Staff. We invited the Trade Union Congress and voluntary sector speakers to share with us their approaches of how they develop teams and workforces, paid and unpaid, to work fruitfully together. View the slides and learning here.

NCVO training

From 2021, our popular Good Practice in Volunteer Management will take place over two half days from 10.00 to 13:00. You need to attend both days because they are two parts of one course. Book your place here.

February course

  • Session 1: Tuesday 16 February 2021
  • Session 2: Wednesday 17 February 2021

March course

  • Session 1: 16 March 2021
  • Session 2: 17 March 2021


We are also running a course called Project Management in the Voluntary Sector. For more information and dates from January to March, click here.


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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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