Volunteering round-up: February 2021

Updated Knowhow covid guidance 

We’re looking forward to lockdown easing! We will be updating our coronavirus Involving Volunteers guidance in the coming weeks to help you be clear about how to follow the relaxing of restrictions carefully and safely. 

Rapid, mass testing of covid in schools and colleges

The Voluntary Community Sector Emergencies Partnership (VCSEP) has been working with the Department for Education to support schools and colleges with rapid mass testing. The VCSEP has developed a process for how schools and colleges can request support from voluntary and community organisations and a grant-allocation guide for accessing voluntary sector support. There is no national contract in place because VCSEP is championing a locally-led approach. A toolkit for organisations is available on the VCSEP website, which can be downloaded to support conversations locally. This includes a costing framework, required training elements for volunteers, and a FAQ document. 

Volunteering: A remedy for health inequalities?

As part of NCVO’s continuing role on the Health and Wellbeing Alliance, we’re holding an online event on 10 March to explore how volunteering has helped to address health inequalities, as well as its limitations. We’ve invited five speakers from local and national organisations to share their learning with us. This event will inform onward conversations for the future direction of the Alliance. Find out more about the event and how to register here. 

Volunteer passports: A consultation

We’re working with Volunteering Matters to develop recommendations for a national volunteer passporting scheme. In this blog, we outline what a scheme may entail, as well as the resulting opportunities and barriers. We invite you to join this consultation from which we will be making recommendations to government in early April. Find details of how to register your interest in the online consultation event on 11 March here. 

Refreshed Investing in Volunteers standard: 24 March launch event

The Investing in Volunteers (IiV) quality standard is the UK standard for good practice in volunteer management. IiV is run by the UK Volunteering Forum which consists of four partners: NCVO in England, WCVA (Wales), Volunteer Now (Northern Ireland) and Volunteer Scotland. We have now agreed with our partners that NCVO will stop supporting organisations through their IiV journey. Our partners will provide a continued service so that organisations based in England can still access the award and continue to provide high quality volunteering experiences for their volunteers. WCVA are launching a modernised version of the IiV standard on 24 March. Learn about what’s new in the refreshed standard; register here. 

Covid-19 Voluntary Sector Impact Barometer

The Respond, Recover, Reset project with Nottingham Trent University has released its fourth monthly report based on the barometer surveys completed in January and interviews conducted with organisational staff. This month’s theme of volunteering, based on regular and special survey questions, reveals a net decline in volunteering in terms of people, hours and range of activities. Interview quotes also provide context around how volunteering has evolved and the challenges that it has faced during the pandemic. The data from the report can be found in this month’s barometer dashboard. 

New Toolkit! Volunteering for Older People and People with Dementia

Volunteering Matters has created a new toolkit for older people and people with dementia. This toolkit was created by Volunteering Matters project, Network Point Newcastle and funded by Newcastle City Council. If you’re eager to break glass ceilings and think creatively about how to engage more older people and people with dementia in volunteeringtake a look here. 

Volunteering with Vulnerable Families: NSPCC literature review published 2021

NSPCC commissioned independent researchers to carry out a rapid literature review for volunteering with vulnerable families. The review includes NSPCC literature as well as other sources from 2012 to 2021. You can read the recommendations and key findings here, among them how the volunteer coordinator is critical to supporting volunteers and families, as well as download a copy of the review. 

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 MS Teams) are below: 

NCVO training 

Safeguarding Essentials in Charities 

  • 31 March, 10:00 – 15:00 

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. 

April course 

  • Session 1: Tuesday 21 April 
  • Session 2: Wednesday 22 April 

May course 

  • Session 1: Tuesday 18 May 
  • Session 2: Thursday 20 May 

June course 

  • Session 1: Tuesday 22 June 
  • Session 2: Thursday 24 June 

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

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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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