Opening Doors to Volunteering (EYV11) – Resources

In case the circulation of the EYV11 ‘Opening Doors to Volunteering’ resources didn’t reach everyone, please see this link

The summary of the workshop discussions can be found via the Attend Connect forum (free registration). Once registered the ‘Opening Door’s themes can be found here.

One recent addition has been the collation of show-case examples of good practice, which make interesting reading. A summary is listed below.

26 Business Reasons for engaging with disabled volunteers

Probably the most significant finding about disabled volunteering from the literature review and the action learning workshops was that few mainstream VCS organisations had a business case for engaging with disabled volunteers. As a result there are few overt ‘sponsors’ of disabled volunteering within mainstream organisations.

This document uses the business case framework that was developed from the ‘Opening Doors to Volunteering’ programme, and presents 26 business reasons why Attend engage with volunteers with an Acquired Brain Injury. Whilst some of these relate to a ‘disability service-provider’ perspective, there will be many that could be applicable to others.

Involving people with a learning disability

Jemma Mindham, Area Manager working in the East of England for CSV responds to questions that explore how people with a learning disability are encouraged to claim their right to choice and opportunities to contribute within their communities. Jemma explains how the supported volunteer programme seeks to recognise the uniqueness of the individual, and what key management processes were put into place to facilitate this.

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”

Anais Nin (1903 – 1977)

Volunteering – The Borstals Programme

This is a fascinating case study of a volunteering programme for young-offenders delivered in the 1970s, back in the days when volunteer management was young and talk was cheap!

The paper reflects a discussion with Andy Kelmanson, responsible for running the programme, and provides some interesting and inspirational food for thought for us all here, in these post CRB days.

“Risk more than others think is safe
Care more than others think is wise
Dream more than others think is practical
Expect more than others think is possible”.
Maxim, Cadet.

Volunteering, prisoners and ex-offenders

Following the riots in the Summer of 2011, there was a recognition amongst many in the voluntary and community sector of a shared responsibility of a broader community remit, beyond the specific aims and objectives of their organisations.

However few mainstream volunteer-involving organisations have the skills and confidence to consider engaging with prisoners and ex-offenders. Resources are stretched, skills and experience are limited, and a fear of negative public perception is a real ‘blocking’ factor.

This paper reflects discussions with Carol Davis, Prison Volunteer Programme Coordinator at Sue Ryder on their pioneering Prison Volunteer Programme. As a mainstream VCS organisation themselves, their progress has much to teach and inspire the wider volunteer-involving community.

Volunteering for ex-offenders

A summary of discussions with Bettina Crossick, NOMS Lead – Mentoring, Volunteering and Service User Engagement.

This is an outline of the current challenges and opportunities faced by the National Offender Management Service. It also cites some current pilots designed to break down the current barriers to engagement by mainstream volunteering organisations.

There is also a useful diagram that highlights how NOMS works with prisons and probation services and engages with the voluntary and community sector.


Post by Stephen Moreton

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