Why age friendly inclusive volunteering?

Did you know the Office for National Statistics says in less than 20 years one in four people will be aged over 65 years? What will this mean for volunteering in this age group? In 2020-21, people aged 65-74 were the most likely age group to formally volunteer. But only just. And effects of the pandemic has narrowed this compared to other age groups.

What can we do to encourage not just pre-pandemic volunteering levels but address the real barriers to volunteering? The barriers that exist for people across all ages, in particular those middle years of 50+, before we get there.

Collaborating on age friendly inclusive outcomes

We recently held a workshop with volunteering leads to develop an outcomes framework for age friendly inclusive volunteering. We wanted to collaborate on the development of the framework, to make sure it is valid and rooted in the everyday context for volunteers and volunteering organisations. Our learning was focused on identifying the key barriers and enablers for people aged 50+ and what prevents them from engaging in volunteering opportunities. The outcomes in the framework centre around three fundamental areas:

  • Outcomes for individuals: skill development and how they feel about their volunteering experience.
  • Outcomes for organisations: practical actions to take and changes to culture.
  • Outcomes for the volunteering sector: access to training and resources, and developing the narrative on age friendly inclusive volunteering.

The framework will be used to shape the project and as a basis for our monitoring, evaluation and learning approach.

Age friendly inclusive volunteering outcomes framework

An invitation to join this new project

Thanks to a grant from the Centre for Ageing Better, we’re excited to be working on age friendly inclusive volunteering. We’re offering up to ten organisations a place to join an action learning set. We’ll meet once a month over a six-month period, from July 2022 to January 2023. The purpose of this group will be:

  • to problem-solve
  • candid about barriers
  • bold about developing solutions together.

We’re keen this group develops and embeds age friendly inclusive volunteering principles and practice that have been tested and documented in pilots funded by the Centre for Ageing Better. We ask that learning and progress from this group is generously shared with the sector.

There’s also an option to join an advisory group. The role of the group will be:

  • to oversee the activities and learning that come from the project
  • share the learning as widely as possible across your own organisation
  • become champions for change.

Meetings will be no more than 90 minutes in length and will be held in July 2022 and January 2023. There will be some email communication between meetings as well. The advisory group will also have a role in approving the list of organisations recommended a place on the action learning sets.

The application process is short and simple. Email Edward Drew, including ‘Age friendly inclusive volunteering’ in the subject line and we’ll send you more information. Closing date is 22 June 2022. We look forward to hearing from you and working together on this exciting project.

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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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