Volunteering round-up: November 2021

Welcome to the final round-up of 2021. It’s been another trying but triumphant year for volunteering, despite the challenges brought on by covid-19. Read on for the latest sector updates.

International Volunteer Day

Don’t miss International Volunteer Day on Sunday 5 December – an initiative of the United Nations to mark the global contribution made by volunteers.

Follow #InternationalVolunteerDay to see how countries around the world are honouring their volunteers.

Covid-19 guidance

The government is planning to make vaccinations a legal requirement for anyone working or volunteering in frontline health and social care roles and this will come into effect in April 2022. This means that to be fully vaccinated by 1 April, volunteers will need to receive their first dose by 3 February 2022.

Keep an eye on our involving volunteers guidance for updates.

Get involved in the Vision for Volunteering

The Vision for Volunteering is a national collaboration that aims to create a long-term plan for volunteering in England with deliverable actions. The first round of consultation workshops have been heavily oversubscribed, with so many people eager to discuss volunteering! If you’ve missed out on a place, we invite you to share your vision with us in this survey.

The project team are creating further ways to engage more widely across the volunteering community. The team will be holding further workshops in January and launching a consultation toolkit. NCVO will also be delivering a workshop for members in January, to explore early findings from the consultation and offer our members routes to give feedback to the emerging vision.

Stay updated on the vision by signing up for email updates.

Volunteering Futures Fund

The Government has launched a £7m fund with Arts Council England, Pears Foundation and NHS Charities Together, to help people access more volunteering opportunities through the arts and sport sectors. The Volunteering Futures Fund is designed to support organisations that want to make volunteering more accessible.

The fund focuses on young people, those experiencing loneliness, people with disabilities and those from ethnic minority backgrounds. Organisations that run projects across the arts, heritage, museums, libraries, sport, civil society and youth sectors are encouraged to apply. The closing date for expressions of interest is midday, 7 December.

Find out more about applying for funding.

Report published on volunteering during covid-19

Over the past year we’ve been working with the University of Northumbria, University of East Anglia and University of Essex to evaluate voluntary action responses to the covid-19 pandemic through the Mobilising UK  Voluntary Action project in England.

Each country in the UK has produced its own report on the impact of the pandemic, including recommendations on what’s needed from the sector and government to support national recovery and preparation for future crises.

In October we shared emerging findings and invited reflections from Community Organisers, Selby Trust, FareShare UK and Gateshead council. Thank you to all who contributed to this year-long research. We will be using our findings to build policy asks in 2022.

Read the final report on volunteering in England during covid-19.

Looking back on Trustees Week 2021

This year Trustees Week covered board recruitment, the value of regular reviews, equality, diversity and inclusion, and mental health and wellbeing. We brought together speakers from across the sector to share their experiences and learning.

Our governance consultant Sally Stephens brings you up to speed with her reflections on Trustees Week blog.

Covid-19 voluntary sector impact barometer

The Respond, Recover, Reset project with Nottingham Trent University has released its twelfth report (PDF). November’s theme was voluntary sector funders during the pandemic.

The report explores the role of grant makers and funders and their relationship with charities during the pandemic. It considers:

  • how funders adapted to provide money for existing and new grantees
  • flexibility for meeting funding requirements
  • communication between grant-making bodies and charities receiving funding
  • changes to funding application processes
  • wider collaboration with grantees
  • outcomes of changes
  • funders and racial justice
  • the need for a more strategic response.

Data from the wave 12 report is available in the report dashboard. Wave 13 of the barometer survey launched on 8 November and closed on 22 November. It received more than 300 responses.

Find out more about the project’s previous and upcoming reports.

Update on Investing in Volunteers

The UK Investing in Volunteers team has been busy with enquiries, accreditations and new registrations. Recent reoccurring themes for participating organisations in England include:

  • celebrating volunteers
  • finding ways to recognise their fantastic contributions throughout the pandemic
  • capturing and sharing the impact of their time and effort to support their communities.

The Investing in Volunteers standard is an excellent way to strengthen your organisational resilience and develop volunteering, as well as to capture and celebrate the fantastic work of volunteers.

Visit the Investing in Volunteers website to get a quote and start your journey.

NCVO online training

Equality, diversity and inclusion in charity governance

Join us for this new course on equality, diversity and inclusion from the Social Justice Collective, delivered over three half day sessions. Starts 19 January, 09.30–12.30.

Safeguarding essentials in charities

The next date for our safeguarding essentials in charities course is 27 January, 10.00–15.00.

Strategic planning: Processes and tools for direction and decision making

Has the pandemic prompted you to rethink your strategy? We’re offering a one-day online course to help on 2 February, 10.00–15.30.

Good practice in volunteer management

Our popular good practice in volunteer management course takes place over two half days from 10.00–13.00. You need to attend both days as they’re two parts of one course.

February course

  • Session 1: Monday 21 February
  • Session 2: Wednesday 23 February

March course

  • Session 1: Monday 21 March
  • Session 2: Wednesday 23 March
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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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