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Government to invest £600,000 in sector volunteering initiative

Melanie May | 15 December 2022 | News

hands hold a volunteer badge on an orange top

The government has committed to an investment of £600,000 into Vision for Volunteering – a ten-year initiative supported by over 300 organisations from across the volunteering community that aims to make England the best place in the world to be a volunteer by 2032.

The funding, announced today by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) will support the next 18-month stage of the project, which focuses on how volunteering must adapt and evolve in five key areas over the next decade, namely awareness and appreciation, power, equity and inclusion, collaboration, and experimentation.

Vision for Volunteering launched in May 2022, with more than 350 people from over 300 organisations contributing to its first phase in a year-long engagement exercise. It is led by NAVCA, NCVO, Volunteering Matters, the Association of Volunteer Managers (AVM) and Sport England.

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DCMS is supporting the second phase of the project, which will focus on turning the shared ten-year Vision for Volunteering into reality. The funding will support the creation of a dedicated staff team for the project, which will be hosted by partner organisation NCVO. This team will have three new positions: project lead; network and engagement officer; and, learning and storytelling officer. Recruitment for these positions has begun today and closes on 4 January with more information for these roles available on the Vision for Volunteering and NCVO websites.

Over the next 18 months, the team will carry out a broad engagement with partners and stakeholders to raise awareness of the Vision and provide training and tools, build a community to champion the Vision, share stories of positive change, and collect evidence and share learning. This second phase of the project’s work will be one of engagement, discovery, and deliberation – paving the way for systemic change in the volunteering environment in England over the next decade.

The project will be overseen by a project board with a new independent chair. Alongside the existing partners, two new organisations will be recruited to ensure the board reflects the diversity of the volunteering community. 

Commenting on the government’s support for Vision for Volunteering, Minister for Civil Society and Youth Stuart Andrew MP said:

“From supporting the Covid-19 vaccine rollout to looking out for their neighbours, millions of people regularly go above and beyond to help others. Whilst many volunteers were here long before the pandemic, I’m determined that our culture of volunteering remains as strong as ever. So I’m pleased to support phase two of the Vision for Volunteering, which will boost the power of this crucial public role over the coming decade and promote its positive social benefits.

 

“The five themes of the Vision set out an ambitious agenda for the sector, helping to shape the national conversation around volunteering. I look forward to seeing the positive impact it will have on people’s lives.”

Commenting on the announcement the Vision for Volunteering, a spokesperson for the project partners said:

“Volunteers are embedded in how our society operates, whether delivering emergency services, making our communities engaging, thriving places to live, or taking action on issues important to the community. Our country would cease to function without them.

 

“Yet not everyone can volunteer and not everyone has a positive experience volunteering. We want to harness the positive changes we have seen in the volunteering landscape through the pandemic and deliberately move away from practices that are holding volunteering back.

 

“We are delighted that DCMS have recognised the importance of this and are supporting the journey to achieve this change. It sends a vital signal about the importance of volunteering in England that the government has committed to support this project.”

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