Dealing with abuse: are criminal records checks the answer?

Click here to view the guidance NCVO shared in response to concerns about safeguarding and charity shops, backed by AVM and the Charity Retail Association, NCVO have opened the safeguarding section of their updated Volunteers and the law resource to non-members.

Volunteer Management Progress Report – AVM’s response

The recently published​ 2018​ ​Volunteer Management Progress Report once again highlights the range of job titles in ​our profession​, across the world​.  Although there is a slight increase in ‘Coordinators’, and a ​small decrease in ‘Managers’ in practice Coordinator and Manager roles are likely to overlap, with similar tasks and responsibilities.  2018-VMPR-Cover-e1517423490909

This echoes the IVMD Survey carried out by AVM in 2017.  A third of survey recipients indicated that their role was non-managerial.  Their job titles included Officer / Coordinator / Supervisor / Engagement.  With the potential to negatively impact on the scope for career progression, particularly for new entrants to the industry, improved consistency in naming conventions is needed.

The report also identified time as a challenge for volunteer managers. A proportion of respondents had other core responsibilities alongside their volunteer management role, facing ​the reality of splitting time between competing ​workloads.  Do competing workloads compromise the ability of volunteer managers to be effective?  Is more investment needed?  

The answer may seem obvious but the question is not new.  In 2008 the Institute for Volunteering Research’s​  Management Matters survey found that:

Volunteers are often a vital resource for organisations, yet it would appear that many are not dedicating significant resources to their involvement….While human resources are more readily available for managing volunteers, they are often dispersed and may be hidden within people’s wider roles. (p.7-8, IVR, 2008)

A disappointing trend is the lack of budget assigned to volunteer management. For many of us necessity really is the mother of invention when it comes to managing volunteer programmes but this should be the exception, and not the norm.  An under-financed programme is unlikely to reach its true potential.  16% of the IVMD Survey recipients highlighted budget, resources and finance as an existing challenge they faced in their role, but 25% cited this as a challenge for the sector in the next few years.

IVMD

Good budget management provides evidence for sustainability and growth, and all organisations promoting and relying on volunteers should properly fund this endeavour, and provide budget writing and management training for their volunteer managers.

The 2010 Valuing Volunteer Management Skills study acknowledges the difficulty in developing a relevant training programme for volunteer managers given that their role is rarely standalone.  It should be noted that the earlier survey recognises that barriers to training opportunities may deter those who are new to the role but are not hampering the development of models of good practice by longer standing practitioners.

Although there was a correlation to salary, there were still relatively high levels of satisfaction amongst volunteer managers, and this has been consistent in the time that the survey has been produced.  Role satisfaction is closely matched by the intention to continue working in this field.  It’s not only volunteers who find the environment rewarding but also volunteer managers!

Update on AVM’s strategic themes

Following our strategy day in November, AVM’s board is beginning to develop our strategic themes for the Association, which we would like to share with you. We have started by developing what we offer for our members. This includes:

 

  • Holding events outside London. The need to do this was brought out in the survey we held on International Volunteer Managers Day. We’re pleased to say that we have arranged events in Bristol, Manchester and Stirling later in 2018, so are already beginning to address this.
  • Mentoring: ever since AVM launched 10 years ago we have had this planned, but I’m pleased to say that we now have a work stream developing a scheme for our members. Watch this space for how you can share your experiences, and get involved in our test project.
  • Improving our online resources to be more efficient and effective in how we support volunteer managers. We will be exploring options such as webinars and live streaming of events. We have already started filming our L&D events, which are exclusively available on our website to members. We want to continue extending how people are able to access and engage in a variety of ways. If you’re interested in being involved in this work, please get in touch.
  • We want to ensure that our members feel that AVM is their Association by giving people the opportunity to shape its future, so we are developing opportunities to enable this, such as expanding our committees. We’ll be sharing more details later in the year explaining how you can get more involved.
  • We want to better understand what our members want from us. The survey in November 2017 was the start of this and we’ll continue to develop ways to greater understand what members need from AVM.
  • We also want to understand the needs of those who haven’t joined the Association as members and address any gaps or barriers to them joining.
We recognise that AVM doesn’t exist in a vacuum and are keen to develop partnerships and networks with organisations and groups across the sectors so that we can better support our members and ensure the voice of volunteering is heard. The board’s next strategy day will be in April, and we will update you on our progress. As always, you can get in touch with comments or questions.

Manchester, here we come!

Volunteering for All: Measuring the health and well-being benefits

15 March 2018 at The Whitworth  Click here to book

By popular demand, AVM will this year be running three L&D events outside the capital. The first of these will be in Manchester at the Whitworth Gallery and we are pleased to announce special reduced ticket prices for this event, to celebrate a new era of AVM events nationwide. This has been made possible in part due to the support of the gallery itself and Manchester University.

This event will look at two key issues of volunteering: Firstly, measuring the well-being impacts of volunteering and how it can benefit everyone involved: the volunteers; programme leaders; the organisation and the clients. Secondly, diversity in volunteering, including attracting and working with younger volunteers and a look at volunteering in ethnic minorities and low socio-economic groups.

It will showcase some innovative programmes from Manchester and the North West, as well as addressing universal aspects of volunteer management which are relevant for all.

We are particularly pleased to be releasing the results of two different reports on volunteer behaviour: Jump Projects’ “New look at ethnic minority and low socio-economic volunteering in the UK” and the Audience Agency’s report on the health and well-being benefits of volunteering at Kirklees Museum and Galleries.

An exceptional line up of presentations will include: Emma Horridge of Manchester University and Lee Ashworth of Imperial War Museum; Wendy Hunwick-Brown of Ripon Museum; Will Watt of GIVERS / Jump Projects; Beccy Bracey and Jenny Salton of Kirklees Museum and Galleries with Catherine Bradley of The Audience Agency.

Finally there will be a very special workshop session hosted by volunteers from various volunteer programmes in the Manchester area, allowing them to express their opinions of the strengths and weaknesses of these programmes and of the teams running them: How do volunteers see volunteer management?

The day will include table discussions and networking opportunities.

Click here for full agenda or to book.

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AVM’s Volunteering for all: Measuring the well-being benefits.           15 March 2018, Manchester, The Whitworth

 

Diversity in Volunteering: Attracting different demographics

22 February 2018, The Crypt, Christ Church, Spitalfields, 10:30 – 4:15 pm

Click here to book.

Interested in attracting a more diverse volunteer base?

Interested in targeting volunteers from a particular demographic?  

Hear from our experienced speakers on different strategies for attracting a more diverse volunteer base, as well as presentations from organisations that have identified specific demographics they are keen to recruit.

You will hear about the process of identifying the need and assessing the benefits throughout an organisation, then various approaches to targeting and recruiting volunteers from different demographics.

We will hear the experiences of three organisations working with older, younger and LGBT volunteers. We will also hear from two umbrella organisations that are developing or have developed strategies for attracting diverse volunteers in general.

There will be table discussions, networking opportunities and ample space for delegates to share their own experiences, concerns and success stories.

A light lunch and refreshments are included in the price.

Click here for further details or to book.

images (1) Diversity in Volunteering: Attracting different demographics.

22 February 2018, London.

Click here for Eventbrite page.

 

Contributing to the health and care workforce strategy

Health Education England have launched their draft health and care Workforce Strategy consultation. The Strategy will be published in July 2018 to coincide with the NHS’s 70th birthday. The draft strategy sets out the current workforce landscape in the NHS and social care, and the approach to shaping the face of the NHS and social care workforce for the next two decades.

The Association of Volunteer Managers will be submitting a response to the draft consultation, and would like to hear our members’ views to inform our response. Question five will be of particular interest to the volunteer management community, which asks:

 

Do you have any comments on how to better ensure opportunities to; and meets the needs and aspirations of; all communities in England?

Areas to explore may include:

  • What more can be done to attract staff from non-traditional backgrounds, including where we train and how we train?
  • How we better support carers, self carers and volunteers?

 

Members can submit their comments or questions to Ruth Leonard, AVM Chair via email ruth.leonard@volunteermanagers.org.uk

The consultation ends in March 2018, so all comments or questions should be submitted by end of February 2018.

AVM welcomes the arrival of Helpforce

The Association of Volunteer Managers welcomes the arrival of Helpforce into the sector. Volunteering is an important part of the fabric of health and social care with an estimated 3 million people volunteering regularly.

The health service is facing unprecedented demand. There is no doubt that volunteering in health will and must increase. A balanced and strategic approach is essential to future-proof our health service.

Volunteers don’t only play a greater role in supporting NHS staff, they also connect and empower communities.

To be sustainable, volunteers should be offered opportunities which are rewarding, flexible and suited to their skills. Volunteer managers must share their experience and learning; a cohesive approach is fundamental to success.

GDPR & IG – What will be the impact and are we ready for it?

An AVM L&D event, 23 January 2018, 1pm – 5pm Click here to book

This event will enable you to health check your own preparations for the new regulations and compare notes with others.  We will also hear from organisations with recent, relevant experience: RNLI chose to implement the new GDPR regulations almost 1 year ago – what have they learned and what do they recommend?; Alzheimers Society have specific experience of data usage issues, having received an Enforcement Notice from the Information Commissioner -how did they deal with the broader impact, and how did they put the experience to good use in their own GDPR preparations.

Tom Payne and Esme Chapman, Data Governance Analysts of RNLI,  Kate Adams, Head of Volunteering and Amy Symons, Volunteering Support Manager of Alzheimers Society will share their experiences for the benefit of all.

The ‘experts’ suggest that no-one can be sure they are fully prepared until their preparations are put into practice. However there are some key areas and parameters relevant to all. Paul Jennings, partner at BWB law firm, will guide us through the legalities of GDPR.

The event will cover all the key points, as well as some of the less obvious implications:

What will be the impact on volunteers and volunteer managers, as opposed to fundraisers? Do we need data on existing volunteers to attract and recruit new volunteers? Do volunteering and fundraising departments need to coordinate their data management far more effectively, to avoid overloading the same supporters?

There will be table discussions and networking opportunities. Come and share your experiences, concerns and expectations. Book now 

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See Eventbrite page for full details (click on the image above)

#iwillWeek -November 20th to 24th: save the date and get involved!

Following the seminar that Andy Chaggar and the team delivered at the AVM conference we wanted to remind you to save the date! #iwillWeek 2017 is November 20th – 24th. Building communities through youth social action. What will you be doing? Get inspired and get involved. Here is the #iwillWeek webpage  http://www.iwill.org.uk/get-involved/iwillweek-2017/ for further information.

As part of our support for the campaign AVM will:

  • Harness our links with AVM members to promote support for the campaign
  • Address challenges faced by volunteer managers supporting young people in social action
  • Seek to encourage Government to support volunteer management as part of its commitment to volunteering and to the #iwill campaign

Our Pledge For International Volunteer Managers’ Day 2017

Today AVM is marking International Volunteer Managers’ Day with an organisational pledge dedicated to the community of UK leaders of volunteers.

Our pledge: We pledge to empower, enable and amplify the voice of all managers of volunteers across the UK.

Every year 5 November marks International Volunteer Managers’  Day, an opportunity to talk about and thank those who work to make volunteering happen across charities and communities, in ground-level sport, in the public sector, and in all other settings where volunteers contribute their time and talents.

The 2017 theme is Be The Voice, with a call to action to make a pledge, either individually or as an organisation.

AVM chair Ruth Leonard said: “We think it’s important to lead the pledges by affirming our commitment to volunteer managers on this very special day of the year.”

You can make a personal pledge by visiting the official website, or join us in central London on Tuesday for networking and to make your own pledge amongst VM colleagues.