From: Volunteering England [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Wednesday, February 09, 2011 3:32 PM
To: Steve Blackman
Subject: News from Volunteering England - help us to free volunteering from red tape
Volunteering England members' enewsletter - 9 February 2011
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In the current spate of news stories on the Big Society it is worth restating Volunteering England’s position.
We believe that there is much to commend the concept. Volunteering has been placed centre stage in the political debate like never before, and initiatives such as those to strip away red tape and to encourage employer-supported volunteering in the private and public sectors will encourage more people to get involved. There are also some interesting ideas in the recent Giving Green Paper on new ways to stimulate philanthropy and volunteering which are worthy of close consideration.
Our concern, as I expressed in an interview with the BBC News Channel on Monday, is that the level of cuts being imposed on the voluntary and community sector at the moment is threatening to seriously undermine the capacity of the movement to respond to these opportunities. Volunteering is hugely good value for money but not cost free. Releasing its benefits requires investment - in the brokerage services that help people access opportunities, in development of strategy and research and in the art of volunteer management.
When I hear news from our members that the futures of 30 Volunteer Centres are threatened and that volunteer involving organisations are reducing investment in volunteer management due to reductions in their funding, I think we are right to be deeply concerned.
Our response will be to continue to push government, both central and local, to recognise the importance of investing in volunteering and to ensure that the money already promised, such as the £42.5m fund for volunteering infrastructure, is rolled out as soon as possible so it can have the maximum impact. At the same time we will continue to support our members through the difficult transition period ahead. We will continue to make the case for closer collaboration and partnership working, including mergers, where they make strategic and economic sense, and to look for opportunities for our members to get involved in the delivery of public service programmes.
Above all we will continue to make the case as to why volunteering matters.
I would like to draw your attention to a couple of items featured in this issue of this bulletin – the Free volunteering from red tape campaign which you can join on Facebook; our work with Jobcentre Plus to strengthen its work with volunteering organisations; and our consultation event on the Giving Green Paper on 15 February.
Finally, a word about an event I took part in on Monday 31 January to formally launch the selection process for the London 2012 Games Maker volunteering programme. It was an inspiring event. Over 250,000 people have applied to volunteer for the Games, of which 40% have never volunteered before. As I said at the launch, I think we have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to use the passion of the Games to leave a lasting legacy – not of the shiny new stadium variety – but of a new culture of volunteering and community engagement.
That seems to me a prize worth striving for.
Dr Justin Davis Smith
Voluntary Sector Cuts website now live
Volunteering England is working in partnership with other umbrella bodies to collect information on funding cuts. The information is being collected in a single, open-source website which launched late last month. We would encourage you to provide information on funding cuts you have experienced so that we can make a properly evidenced case to the government, to funders and to the public.
The information can also be completed on the funding cuts page of our website and will automatically transfer to the central website.
Voluntary sector access to Jobcentre Plus
On Monday, Prince’s Trust and Jobcentre Plus renewed their National Framework Agreement, a longstanding arrangement that sets out how the two organisations will work together to ensure unemployed people have access to the Trust’s volunteering programmes.
The renewed agreement establishes “a model of voluntary sector co-location in Jobcentre Plus offices to enhance the advisory service to customers”. Volunteering England welcomes the development and looks forward to it being extended to other voluntary sector organisations; in particular, infrastructure organisations that have an overview and knowledge of volunteering at a local level are best placed to provide such advice. We therefore hope that Jobcentre Plus will approach Volunteer Centres and similar organisations first when looking to establish partnerships and will be working with them on this issue.
In order to support this work, we would welcome your input. If you already provide a drop-in or hot desk or similar in your local Jobcentre, or have done in the past, please do let us know so we have examples of how this can work and the benefits it brings to Jobcentre Plus, Volunteer Centres and unemployed people. You can contact Dan Sumners with your examples or for a general chat.
Volunteering magazine: spotlight on Samaritans and Student Volunteering Week 2011
lead February feature we hear about the volunteers who are at the heart and
soul of Samaritans.
This is alongside our usual Day in the Life and Good Practice features, a fascinating AVM hot topic and Dr Stuart’s advice column.
would like to be in our Day in the Life of a Volunteer Manager or Volunteer
Centre of the Month features or are keen to write a Book Review, please email
Penny Gee. Volunteering
magazine can be accessed via the online members’ area, where you can also download a PDF of the highlights. If
you have forgotten your membership details, please email
the Membership Team.
across the country know what you are doing to mark Student Volunteering Week 2011 - post details
of your events on our website, for all to see. By submitting this
information, you are raising your profile nationally, as well as ensuring
that any media enquiries from the press in your area can be notified of the
events that are taking place. Please visit the Student Volunteering Week
website to send us details of your own event.
Volunteer Management Programme final report
As most of you are probably aware, the current Capacitybuilders-funded Volunteer Management Programme comes to an end on 31 March 2011. Over the past 18 months the Volunteer Management Team at Volunteering England has been delivering Strand B of the programme and working hard to increase the recognition of, support for and investment in volunteer management. Our final report outlining the difference that both that Value Volunteer Management Campaign and Volunteer Management Portal have made is now available to download from the Value Volunteer Management Campaign site.
The Volunteer Management Team has greatly enjoyed working on the programme and would like to say a huge ‘thank you’ to all of you who supported the Campaign and/or Portal.
Fairbridge and the Prince’s Trust join forces
Youth charities The Prince’s Trust and Fairbridge are uniting to offer more support to disadvantaged young people across the UK. The two charities will merge on 1 April 2011 with a vision of delivering a more joined-up, wide-ranging service for an increased number of disadvantaged young people.
A full statement is available on the Fairbridge website.
Volunteering England believes that nothing should be easier than giving your time to help other people. The truth is that there are a number of things that often stand in the way of someone volunteering. Some of them are real barriers; others are myths and misunderstandings; some are good old fashioned bureaucracy.
The aim of our Free volunteering red tape campaign is to cut through some of this red tape – real and imagined – and let people know how easy it is to help out in their community.
You can join the campaign on Facebook and find out
more about our work to free volunteering from red tape
on our website, where you can also read about our latest initiative to remove
barriers for volunteer drivers.
The Government is currently consulting on its Giving Green Paper, which looks at ways to increase the giving of time and money. A copy of the green paper is available on the policy pages of our website, along with a briefing on its contents.
in a series of Institute for Volunteering Research (IVR) working papers
exploring key issues in volunteering research has been published. The first paper,
‘A rose by any other name…’ goes back to
basics by asking ‘what exactly is volunteering?’ The paper begins by defining
the boundaries of ‘volunteering’ before going on to explore the different
dimensions of volunteering and how it has been viewed from different academic
IVR conducted research exploring the relationship between Volunteer Centres
and local authorities based on a number of in-depth case studies of local
authority areas. The findings explore the nature of these
relationships, draw out some of the key challenges and make suggestions for
strengthening the relationships in the future.
launched a series of thinkpieces exploring issues of keen interest to
policymakers and practitioners. The first of these short articles explores volunteering and the recession and
challenges the assumption that increased unemployment would lead to higher
rates of volunteering.
IVR, in partnership with Greenstreet Bermen, will be carrying out a Rapid Evidence Assessment on behalf of DEFRA exploring the factors which make environmental projects successful at engaging volunteers from the local community. For more information, please email Daniel Stevens.
With only a
limited number of delegate places left, our forthcoming Volunteer Management Conference provides an
ideal opportunity to promote your organisation's work, products and services.
- Place an
insert in our delegate pack
these methods will give your organisation exposure to 100 organisations with
a keen interest in volunteering and volunteer management, including a wide
range of local and national charities.
Last chance to
attend our Modernising Volunteering Conferences
Our last two Modernising Volunteering Conferences will be taking place in Derby and Worthing in the coming weeks. Full conference details and booking information are available on the Volunteering England website.
Management in the Big Society: Association of Volunteer Managers Conference
This one-day conference will examine the current volunteering landscape for the Third Sector and will seek to answer key questions volunteer managers face.
There will be a keynote address from Nick Hurd MP, Minister for Civil Society, and confirmed speakers include:
Jackson, Director of Development and Innovation, Volunteering England and
secretariat for the Volunteer Rights Enquiry
To find out more and book your place, please see the flyer and booking form.
All training that has previously only been on offer to projects in receipt of the Opportunities for Volunteering (OFV) funding is now being made available to all local level volunteer-involving projects.
The following one-day courses are now available:
forward with project management – Tuesday 22 February, Manchester
The events run from 10am – 4.30pm and places are available for £110, including VAT. Lunch and refreshments are provided.
For more information, please see the training programme. To book a place on any of these courses, please return the form inside the programme or use our online form. (If you are not an OFV funded project, please ignore the sections which are for those projects specifically.)
Members' open space
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