Pandemic. It’s a worrisome time and we, leaders of volunteers worry. A lot. Like mother hens, we cluck about, gathering masses under our protective wings. “I got you,” we murmur, pulling everyone close.
We worry about the frail volunteers who are determined to keep volunteering but may become infected with the virus. We worry about the volunteers who stay home and are missing that one, bright, social spot in their lives as they hunker down, alone. We worry about the clients we serve and how they are deprived of that perfect moment, when our skilled volunteer makes a connection, soul on soul.
We worry we aren’t doing enough, or we’re overlooking a volunteer who needs us. We worry that things will never be the same again, and our volunteers will leave over new regulations. We worry that volunteers may experience a new normal and be reluctant to work directly with…
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Value: It’s a head-scratching concept, right? Like, what is the value of friendship, or the value of sitting next to a waterfall, letting the sound soothe you?
I just finished reading the book, “The Worth of a Volunteer; And You Thought Physics was Super Complicated, Volume 2.” Some experts say we should use a set dollar amount for volunteer time spent and other folks think we should attach an amount equivalent to the job being done by each volunteer. No matter how you approach it, (for something completely different, see The Value of a Volunteer: $I#.@S) a monetary amount is routinely attributed to volunteer hours, because announcing at the annual luncheon “our volunteers contributed the equivalent of 87,632 hugs” just doesn’t have the same oomph.
But hey, what about volunteer managers? What is our time worth beyond volunteer management? You know…
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A brilliant blog post tackling the misconceptions about volunteers and those who manage them!
I’ve always wanted to see a shareable pamphlet entitled “Volunteer Management, The Cliffs Notes.” It would list all the things we want organizations and senior management to know about volunteers and volunteer management. Here’s 10 of them:
10.Volunteers do not sit by their phones waiting for us to call. We don’t just “order up” when staff asks for eight volunteers who can work twelve-hour shifts, outside, tomorrow at 8 am. No one wishes it were that easy more than we, volunteer managers. Take volunteer Charles for example. Asking him to volunteer at the last minute when he has a job, other volunteering activities, managing his elderly mother’s affairs, and a family is unrealistic. He can’t drop everything to help us. It takes a wise volunteer manager to know how to sustain volunteers’ involvement so that volunteers are not overwhelmed and look forward to coming in to help.
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You may have heard that there is a new service on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) in Dudley and Sandwell. Commissioned by the West Midlands Violence Prevention Alliance, through the PCC, we are aiming to raise awareness of the impact of ACEs and trauma on vulnerablepeople of all ages across the borough.
We would therefore like to invite you and your colleagues to a training event at the link below on June 5th. We have allocated 20 spaces to the voluntary and community sector for the event. To book places please visit:
Please disseminate information to any colleagues that you think would benefit from attending this training. We would suggest colleagues who:
- Are interested in finding out more about ACEs
- Work with vulnerable or traumatised people
- Work with children and adults who may have experienced, or are currently experiencing, adversity.
Dudley local authority is committed to raising…
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- New Youth Charter to support young people across the country
- Social Investment Tax Relief – Call for Evidence now live!
- Research shows strength of UK Tech for Good startups
- Four senior industry leaders set out a blueprint for expanding the dormant assets scheme
- Great British Spring Clean volunteers recognised by the Prime Minister
- EU Settlement Scheme: community leader toolkit
1. New Youth Charter to support young people across the country
A new Youth Charter will be developed to set out a vision for young people over the next generation and beyond, Mims Davies, Minister for Sport and Civil Society has announced.
The charter will reaffirm Government’s commitment to give young people a strong voice on the issues they care about such as combating serious violence and knife crime, addressing mental and physical health challenges and concerns about the environment and climate change.
It will be developed over the coming months, with Government working alongside youth sector organisations and young people.
The charter will build on the existing support and range of innovative projects currently supporting young people across the country. This includes £90 million from dormant bank accounts that is being used to help some of the most disadvantaged young people into employment.
Read the full announcement here.
HM Treasury has published a Call for Evidence to gain a better understanding about how the Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR) has been used since its introduction in 2014, including levels of take up and what impact it has had on social enterprises’ access to finance.
The SITR has a sunset clause which will bring the scheme to an end in April 2021, and this call for evidence will help inform a decision about the future of the relief.
You can view and respond to the consultation here.
The deadline for responses is 17 July 2019.
3. Research shows strength of UK Tech for Good startups
A report from Tech Nation has found that the UK is a global centre for socially responsible technology innovation. ‘Tech for social good’ companies were worth £2.3 billion in 2018, with a turnover of £732 million.
The report also found that:
- The non-profit segment of the Tech for Good sector (charities & social enterprises) is growing exponentially in terms of registrations
- To date, Tech for Good organisations in the UK have raised £1.09bn in venture capital
- The biggest challenges facing these organisations and preventing them from scaling further are (a) access to capital and (b) lack of diversity
You can read the full report here.
4. Four industry leaders set out a blueprint for expanding the dormant assets scheme
Four senior industry champions in the banking, insurance and pensions, investment and wealth management, and securities sector published their report on the expansion of the dormant assets scheme in April 2019.
The report was prepared in consultation with firms, Reclaim Fund Ltd, trade associations and regulatory bodies.
This report sets out an industry blueprint for an expanded scheme. It includes recommendations addressed to industry, the government and regulators, and covers both industry-wide ambitions and sector-specific details, in particular:
- the potential scope of an expanded scheme across industry;
- definitions of dormancy for each sector;
- other technical and practical considerations, including legislative; and
- regulatory implications, and the transfer and reclaim of assets.
Read more here.
5. Great British Spring Clean volunteers recognised by the Prime Minister
Over recent weeks the Prime Minister has recognised five inspirational local environment campaigners with Points of Light awards as part of the Great British Spring Clean, the country’s largest mass-action environmental campaign run by Keep Britain Tidy and supported by the Daily Mail.
Jason Alexander, Rosanne Bostock, Nadia Sparkes, Emily Stevenson and Dhruv Boruah have all made a major impact in helping turn the tide on plastic tidy up the country, both by drawing attention to cleaning up in imaginative ways and by clearing masses of litter up themselves.
Find out more about their work and how you can nominate outstanding volunteers who are making a real difference in your community at the Points of Light website.
6. EU Settlement Scheme: community leader toolkit
The Home Office has published a toolkit to help local authorities and community groups to support EU citizens and their families to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.
The updated materials available include:
- Toolkit introduction – specific information aimed at local authorities, outlining how you can use the toolkit to help you communicate information about the EU Settlement Scheme with European citizens.
- Briefing pack – provides you with key information about the EU Settlement Scheme and can be used for presentations, at face-to-face events or webinars with EU citizens.
- Leaflets, factsheets and application flowcharts – materials for EEA and Swiss citizens, focusing on eligibility requirements, how to apply and the support services available.
- Posters – provides key information on timelines and why EU citizens need to apply.
- Downloadable videos – to advertise the Scheme on social media and other platforms. Click here to download (the link will be valid for seven days).
- Z-card handout – details about the Scheme in a handy format for European citizens.
The full toolkit is available here.
Office for Civil Society
Local Team West