Posts Tagged: volunteering

Volunteering: from the cradle to the grave

Last month saw the publication of the final report of the Commission on the Voluntary Sector & Ageing. The report is presented in an engaging way and runs to a mere thirteen pages – so there’s no excuse not to read it. In fact, it is essential reading for anyone who works in the voluntary sector or works with volunteers. Read more on Volunteering: from the cradle to the grave…

Why volunteer management and brain surgery are alike

For five weeks before Christmas I had to change my work routine. I normally work from home, but I’d sold my house and the new place wasn’t ready until the 19 December. So, while living with my future in-laws, I’d rented an office in the volunteer-run local museum in Grantham. Read more on Why volunteer management and brain surgery are alike…

Volunteering in 2015: the times they are a-changing

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These two tweets summarised my reflections at the Westminster Briefing event looking at Volunteering in 2015. It was an interesting day with a good mix of speakers (including yours truly) who challenged, encouraged and debated with attendees on topics including impact measurement, social enterprise, local and national government policy, social media and the role of infrastructure. Read more on Volunteering in 2015: the times they are a-changing…

By calling for diversity, we disregard existing volunteers

Certain groups of people are under-represented in formal volunteering. We all know that, right?

Quite rightly, we are often called upon to open up our organisations to these under-represented groups. We are challenged to broaden the diversity of our volunteer teams and to tackle any practical barriers to the engagement of a wide pool of volunteers. This could include paying expenses so that people aren’t financially disadvantaged through giving their time, or making adaptations to premises or ways of working to remove physical barriers to people getting involved.

Read more on By calling for diversity, we disregard existing volunteers…

Volunteering: measuring what counts

During Volunteers’ Week last month an article appeared with the headline, Volunteers worth £500m to the NHS. To quote one of the opening lines:

The country’s healthcare system is being supported by 1.9 million volunteers, worth almost £500m to the NHS, according to a new study.

This prompted some discussion on the UKVPMs discussion group for volunteer managers. On one side of the debate were those who felt this headline helped to showcase the importance of volunteering to our society. On the other side were those who felt such headlines do more harm than good. Read more on Volunteering: measuring what counts…

We use paper clips, not people

Every now and again I hear it or read it. It comes up in conversations and articles, sometimes from those who should know much better. I’ll even admit to having done it myself in the past.

I’m referring to people saying they ‘use’ volunteers.  I mentioned this issue in passing last month but, as it is something I feel strongly about, I wanted to make it the focus of this month’s blog. Read more on We use paper clips, not people…

Some research on volunteering may do more harm than good

There is a wonderful scene in an episode of Yes Prime Minister called The Ministerial Broadcast, where Sir Humphrey and Bernard Wooley are discussing Jim Hacker’s proposal for the reintroduction of National Service. Sir Humphrey demonstrates to Bernard how, by asking two different series of questions, he can get his junior colleague to both agree to and oppose national service.

Read more on Some research on volunteering may do more harm than good…

David Blunkett’s National Volunteer Programme leaves me cold

On 31st August, David Blunkett MP launched a reportcalling for
the creation of a new National Volunteer Programme
(NVP) as a
response to the recent urban riots in the UK. You can access his
proposalshere.

Such a programme of nationalcommunityservice for young people isn’t
new. Mr Blunkett has made such suggestions in the past. Yet this particular proposal leaves me
rather cold. Here’s three reasons why:

Read more on David Blunkett’s National Volunteer Programme leaves me cold…

We have to change the way we think about, engage and report on volunteers

There has been coverage in Third Sector recently of the
Third Sector Research Centre’s findings about a civic core of volunteers. If you haven’t read it, here are some of the key points:

Read more on We have to change the way we think about, engage and report on volunteers…

Is microvolunteering a digital knight on a white charger?

Microvolunteering. It is the latest next big thing in
volunteering. By giving just a few
minutes of your time to complete an action, normally via mobile technology, you
can change the world. Many
advocates see microvolunteering as the digital knight on a white charger come
to save the damsel in distress that is ‘traditional’ volunteering.

Read more on Is microvolunteering a digital knight on a white charger?…