Ways to feel at your best so you can do your best

Sue Jones, Co-founder at 3B: Wellness, Coaching, Mind Matters, will be sharing a range of resources at AVM’s Ways to wellbeing and productivity for volunteer managers on 21 February to help you feel at your best. In a role that is predominately about supporting others, it’s easy to forget about your own needs. Managing volunteers (more…)

Macmillan UK Volunteer Forum – Linda Richardson

Topic Speaker Linda Richardson, Chair Scottish Volunteer Forum, UK Volunteer Forum, Macmillan Cancer Support Related event Filmed on 19 September 2018 Stirling, Scotland… This content is for AVM members only – if you are a member please login – if you aren’t a member please consider supporting AVM as a member. Log In join AVM...

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Tools for volunteer managers – Jessica Lightfoot

Topic Speaker Jessica Lightfoot, Volunteer Improvement Adviser – Scotland, MacMillan Cancer Support Related event Filmed on 19 September 2018 Stirling, Scotland… This content is for AVM members only – if you are a member please login – if you aren’t a member please consider supporting AVM as a member. Log In join AVM now...

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Volunteer management – building our confidence, skills and creativity to increase participation – Ruth Leonard – AVM

Topic Speaker Ruth Leonard, Chair of AVM and Head of Volunteering Development, Macmillan Cancer Support Related event Filmed on 19 September 2018Stirling, Scotland… This content is for AVM members only – if you are a member please login – if you aren’t a member please consider supporting AVM as a member. Log In join AVM...

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Inclusive programming and volunteering at National Museums Scotland – Jane Miller

Topic Speaker Jane Miller, National Museums Scotland Related event Filmed on 19 September 2018 Stirling, Scotland… This content is for AVM members only – if you are a member please login – if you aren’t a member please consider supporting AVM as a member. Log In join AVM now...

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Our journey so far – Andrew Broomhead – Diabetes UK

Topic Hear about how we made the first steps away from our tried and tested committee structures towards different models of local groups. What works – and for who? Starting our journey towards more flexible local support What are people telling us they want and how do we support that in the future? Speaker Andrew…...

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Revolutionising local committee governance – Laura Elson

Topic Revolutionising local committee leadership in netball: Understand how netball is locally led by volunteer committees The England Netball local governance review What we found How to use data to revolutionise local governance Speaker Laura Elson, Non profit consultant Related event Filmed on 2 October 2018 London… This content is for AVM members only –...

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Presentations from the AVM Conference 2018

Futurology: The UK trends that may impact Volunteering by 2030 Tiger de Souza, Director (Volunteering, Participation & Inclusion), National Trust Getting past Groundhog Day: Why our leadership needs to change the conversations we’re having about volunteering Helen Timbrell, People and Organisational Development Consultant Putting Volunteering at Our Heart: England Athletics Strategy Chris Jones, CEO, England (more…)

Inclusion and participation in youth volunteering – Matthew Linning – Volunteer Scotland

Topic Drawing upon recent research evidence this talk will start by ‘setting the scene’ outlining the key characteristics of youth volunteering in Scotland. Not withstanding the ‘good news’ story of high youth volunteering participation rates there are still significant barriers facing young people, especially for those facing disadvantage. The barriers and opportunities will be discussed…...

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How can we get more young people volunteering?

Eddy Hogg, Lecturer at the University of Kent’s Centre for Philanthropy, will be speaking about how organisations can best attract young volunteers from a wide range of social backgrounds at AVM’s Volunteering’s impact on the community on 28 November. 

I write this during #iWillWeek. A week which celebrates young people and the impact they have on the communities and causes they care about. But do all young people have the same opportunities to volunteer? To make a difference to things that matter to them?

Young volunteering approaches

We know that there is a relationship between social class and volunteering. What we don’t know is at what age and why the engagement gap emerges. We need to.

Government policies and the activities of volunteer managers on the ground often seek to encourage young people to volunteer. Policy is focused on widening participation to include under-represented groups. In recent years, National Citizen Service, which includes a ‘social action project’, has come to dominate central government’s youth work spending.

Getting policy and practice right is important. Investing resources effectively in encouraging young people to volunteer is likely to have an impact long beyond youth and young adulthood. If we want people from all backgrounds – not just more advantaged groups – to be able to access the benefits of volunteering, we need to understand how best to do this. For volunteer managers, knowing where best to focus their efforts to harness both short- and long-term volunteering commitment is invaluable.

Our research findings

Research by me and Rob de Vries finds a clear relationship between socio-economic advantage and volunteering by young people, but one that is far from straightforward. During Key Stage 3, when the role of school as a route into volunteering is strong for all socio-economic groups, we find little difference in engagement between young people from different backgrounds.

The role that schools play in encouraging children to volunteer gets smaller in Key Stages 4 and 5, as exam and other pressures loom larger. At this stage community groups and organisations become more significant as a pathway to engagement and socio-economic differences reappear. This matters. The patterns established at this time persist throughout adulthood.

The role of schools

This makes the role of schools – and the organisations who work with schools – vital. They are the most egalitarian way for volunteer managers and volunteer involving organisations to access a range of young people and encourage them to take part in volunteering opportunities. When this is left to community groups and organisations, we see clear class differences in who engages. This is regardless of the best intentions of volunteer managers.

We therefore argue those who seek to get more young people volunteering should focus their energies on working with schools to access and attract young people. The encouragement and support which eliminates significant socio-economic differences in Key Stage 3 should continue throughout young people’s school careers through to age 18.

Post-18

Schools, and the volunteer managers and voluntary organisations who work with them, should also think about how they can encourage and support young people to continue volunteering post-18. This may mean community groups and organisations working in partnership with schools and each other to ensure that young people from all backgrounds – not just the most advantaged socio-economic groups – are aware of and feel comfortable in the kinds of organisations that can support a longer-term commitment to volunteering.

I’m delighted to be sharing my expertise at AVM’s November event, where I’ll be discussing how these recommendations can be put into practice. I hope to see you there,