VE is challenging the Government to invest in volunteering to contribute to national and personal economic renewal.
The Recession Challenge sets out nine key challenges to central and local government, volunteer-involving organisations and the private sector, in order to make the most of volunteering’s potential to contribute to economic recovery.
To government – central and local
1. Volunteering is a route to new employment for many people; volunteering can develop skills for employability and for new career pathways.
2. Now is the time to make a powerful national investment so as to involve greater numbers of people in volunteering projects focussed on building the human capital and individual capabilities for national and personal economic renewal.
3. Volunteering has to be resourced. Recruiting and organising volunteers costs money; you need to support the organisations which recruit and involve volunteers, especially the local infrastructure bodies.
4. Locally, JobCentrePlus and, nationally, the Department for Work and Pensions should be valuing volunteering for the ways it supports people in getting into paid work. Current DWP regulations allow time for volunteering; they need to be applied fairly by local centres.
To volunteer-involving organisations
5. Volunteering is our life-blood. Don’t cut back on volunteer management to save money – it would be a false economy. We have to invest in managing volunteers to sustain our most valuable resource.
6. Be careful not to displace paid staff with volunteers. It might look like it can save money in the short-term but it undercuts the harmonious working relationships which volunteering depends on.
To the private sector
7. Social responsibility comes as standard – it’s not an optional extra to cut in hard times. Volunteer involving organisations have greater calls on their resources in hard times. Now more than ever, they need the time and money you can give.
To private, public and voluntary organisations
8. Employer supported volunteering can help see your staff through the economic crisis and develop new transferable skills for your organisation; encourage your organisation and your employees in volunteering.
9. Volunteering is one way of making our futures. The economic conditions set up new possibilities for working with volunteers. We need to build new partnerships together so we can turn current constraints into new opportunities.