Welcome to the latest edition of the Volunteer Centre News Update. Remember that you can contact us with your thoughts and ideas about what you would like to see here. Your feedback is always appreciated.
Save the Dates!
Volunteer Achievement Awards 2023
Our Volunteer Achievement Awards ceremony will take place at 17.00 on Thursday 1st June next year, coinciding with National Volunteers’ Week 2023. Our bi-annual event, celebrating volunteers and volunteering across the district, will be returning to an in-person event after our last ceremony in 2021 was held online. The venue is still to be decided and we will announce it closer to the time, but for now please save the date.
The official nomination process will be launched in January 2023 so you will have plenty of time to make nominations and prepare. A reminder of the nomination categories is below.
- Volunteer of the Year (25 and over)
- Young Volunteer of the Year (24 and under)
- Trustee of the Year
- Fundraiser of the Year
- Lifetime Achievement Award
- The Roger Sherlock Memorial Community Inspiration Award
Individual certificates of recognition can also be awarded to any volunteers not being nominated for one or more of the above categories. We may even introduce new categories this year, as well as one or two other surprises, so keep an eye on our newsletters and social media channels.
Volunteer Fairs – Morecambe and Lancaster
In the first quarter of 2023 we will host two Volunteer Recruitment Fairs.
- Morecambe Library on Monday 6th February, 10.30am to 1.30pm.
- Lancaster Library on Thursday 23rd February, 10.30am to 1.30pm
These will be opportunities for local volunteer involving organisations to come along with their banners, leaflets, and other promotional materials to speak directly with people who are interested in volunteering. We will be inviting a variety of people from the local areas to come along and we hope that each will be a busy and worthwhile day.
Invitations to organisations will go out soon, but there is no need to wait – if you would like to book a space (it’s FREE) email [email protected].
We want to accommodate up to 15 organisations with tables at each event, but if you can’t attend on those dates or if you miss out on a space, you can still have your roles represented. Simply make sure that you are registered on our website, with your volunteering opportunities uploaded, and send electronic or hard copies of your promotional materials to Mark at Lancaster District CVS.
Many organisations and geographic areas have Volunteering Charters or Volunteering Manifestos, sets of guiding principles that organisations can sign up to to commit to providing the best possible volunteering experience.
At our 50th Anniversary celebration event on Thursday 24th November, we started a conversation around developing a Volunteering Charter for the Lancaster District.
Most volunteer involving organisations are already doing most, if not all, of the things that came up during our workshop, but nothing is codified. By working together to agree a Charter, we can ensure that anyone new to volunteering will have confidence that they will be supported and encouraged in their efforts and in turn this will, we hope, boost the numbers of people entering into volunteering.
In the New Year we will offer the opportunity to contribute to the charter and will share with you the ideas and themes that came out of the workshop, and we hope to launch the new Volunteering Charter for Lancaster District at our Volunteer Achievement Awards on 1st June 2023.
New roles have been added to our website, including:
- various administrative roles with the Promenade Concert Orchestra
- Food Prep volunteers and gleaning volunteers with Eggcup in Lancaster
- a volunteer counsellor, a student volunteer counsellor, a volunteer administrator, and a fundraising volunteer with Trust House Lancashire based in Preston
- a helpline volunteer role with Family Lives, which is home-based
- and a volunteer youth worker with CancerCare.
You can visit the links for more information and you can find dozens of other possibilities by visiting our website – https://volunteering.lancastercvs.org.uk
Don’t forget that you can also register as a volunteer-involving organisation on the same site and use it to create volunteer opportunities, contact potential volunteers, manage those already in your team – and much more!
Lancaster District Directory
Serving Lancaster, Morecambe, Carnforth and surrounding areas
Our digital directory and social prescribing project has been an important and challenging piece of work in our 50th anniversary year. Over the last several months we have been working to collect information on services, specify and develop the public directory website, and ensure that we have the systems and processes in place to take electronic patient referrals from staff in GP surgeries.
We’re getting ready to share the results of these efforts and will shortly be launching the directory and accepting the first GP referrals. To begin, we’ve created a video which explains the purpose and benefits of the project, to help people out there in our communities understand how it can help. Please do take a look, circulate the link your colleagues, and use it to introduce the directory to your followers on social media.
Traditionally befriending has been a hugely popular volunteering role. It is a role that offers an opportunity to make direct and obvious positive difference to a person, and to those around them.
The Volunteer Centre currently has a number of roles recruiting to befriending or befriending-type activities, but interest from new volunteers has dropped off somewhat compared to pre-pandemic levels.
An area that seems to be particularly challenged in terms of new volunteers is telephone befriending. Bay Volunteers has quite a few people waiting for befrienders, someone to give them a call once a week to check in, say hello, listen, catch up on life.
As Bay Volunteers manager Matt Parker said, just spend a few minutes on a call with someone and you can hear the change in their voice
Earlier in November we celebrated Trustee’s Week. Recruiting new trustees can be incredibly challenging and so we wanted to put out some positive messages about what being a trustee is all about, and hopefully in doing so encourage more people to consider being a trustee.
We produced a series of videos, with help from some brilliant trustees and former trustees of Morecambe Bay Pulmonary Fibrosis Support Group; Lonsdale Scouts; A Breath for Life; Let’s BeFriends; Lancashire Youth Challenge; and Ellel Village Hall Trust. Wendy, Dave, Jane, Dusty, Guy, and Laura gave us their time to speak on camera about their experiences, and what it is about being a trustee that keeps them going. We are incredibly grateful to them!
You can see all five videos here: https://www.youtube.com/@lancasterdistrictcvs7505/playlists. Please do check them out, and share them with anyone who you think might find them of interest.
Anyone who would like to explore becoming a trustee can contact Mark by email at [email protected].
Third Sector Trends
Third Sector Trends has been surveying the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector every three years since 2010. In 2022, 6,071 responses were received across England and Wales (an average of ~600 responses in each region).
This is the only fully representative longitudinal survey which can produce robust and detailed comparative analysis at a regional and national level.
We have picked out some of the detail around volunteers and volunteering below, but there is much more in the full report from employee retention to investors in people and beyond.
Reliance on regular volunteers
There are about 4.3 million regular volunteers working in the Third Sector. In workload terms, this is equivalent to 190,000 full-time equivalent employees.
Many organisations are facing challenges in sustaining the energy produced by volunteers. Over a quarter of organisations (26%) have been losing volunteers who joined them during the Coronavirus pandemic. 41 per cent of the biggest organisations (income £1million – £25million) are losing these volunteers compared with 18 per cent of the smallest TSOs (income below £10,000).
The composition of the volunteer workforce has been changing in the last two years.
- Nearly half of organisations (48%) state that it has been harder to hold on to older volunteers.
- A fifth of TSOs (20%) say that they now have more volunteers aged under 30.
- Just over a fifth of organisations (22%) report that their voluntary workforce has become more ethnically diverse.
Sustaining support from trustees is vital for organisations: but 17 per cent of organisations report that the number of trustees has fallen over the last two years. Trustee numbers have fallen most in North East England, East of England, South West England and in Wales (all with net losses of trustees between 3-5%).
Regular volunteers produce about one fifth of the ‘energy’ that the Third Sector injects into its work. And in micro and small organisations, volunteers put in all or most of that energy.
- 80 per cent of organisations say that they rely mainly on volunteers who can commit time on a very regular basis.
- Over three quarters of TSOs rely on volunteers who can work unsupervised. Reliance on regular volunteers who can work unsupervised is stronger in organisations based in more affluent areas (83%) than in the poorest areas (64%).
- 85 per cent of organisations state that they could not keep going without regular volunteers.
- 65 per cent of regular volunteers are reported to be service users and beneficiaries.
And finally . . .
This is our last Volunteer Centre Update for 2022. I would like to thank you all for your support to the Volunteer Centre over the last 12 months, for engaging with us through our new website, our email updates, our social media, and more.
It has been a challenging year for all kinds of reasons but we are feeling good about 2023 and taking our plans to greater heights.
Very best wishes to everyone for Christmas and New Year and we will see you all again in January!
Recruit and Manage Volunteers Online
How Does it Work?
Simply register as an opportunity provider HERE, then LOG-IN to access the dashboard. Once logged in you will be able to add new roles, manage existing ones, see volunteer profiles, send messages to volunteers, issue instructions, assign shifts and hours, and a lot more.
You may just want to use it as a simple promotional tool for your volunteer roles, and that’s just fine. We currently see a lot of visits to this site from people looking for new volunteering opportunities, and of course once it is on the site our Volunteer Centre team will be able to promote your roles in person when meeting potential volunteers, at events, on our social media, and in this bulletin!
Using our platform, volunteers can: apply for or join opportunities; create a profile; track achievements; add CPD and qualifications; track opportunities attended; log hours. They can search for opportunities by keyword; categories; activities; distance and dates, and more.
Organisations can: create an organisation profile; create opportunities; manage unlimited volunteers; group volunteers; request references; access automated emails; upload documents; restrict opportunities; share the opportunity onto social media; link externally to your own website, and more.
If you need support with any aspect of volunteering or volunteer recruitment, from developing a policy to creating an impactful role description, or if you want to have something featured in this newsletter, please contact Mark Waddington either by telephone on 01524 555900 or by email at [email protected].