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This event took place on 3rd March 2022.

Delegates can access the recordings and resources via the link shared post-event.

  • Is your organisation’s culture creating barriers to involving volunteers?
  • Are you struggling to know where to start with making the volunteering experience more accessible and inclusive?
  • Do you feel overwhelmed by the number of considerations you need to make to create an inclusive volunteering experience?

We’re delighted to bring together expert speakers from organisations in the UK and the United States to share their experiences of making their organisation’s culture more inclusive to volunteers. Our speakers will share tips on how they empower and support volunteers to help effect change and the challenges they’ve encountered along the way.

 At this event you will:

  • Develop a greater understanding of what an inclusive culture for volunteers could look like
  • Hear more about person-centred approaches to involving volunteers
  • Learn from organisations about how they have approached inclusivity, equality and diversity
  • Gain new perspectives from volunteer managers in another country


This is a half day event, starting at 9:30am, and will be on Zoom (read our Zoom tips for getting the best out of online events). 

09:30    Networking, introductions and welcome

09:45   Facilitated discussion: what is your current culture, challenges and opportunities, facilitated by Ruth Leonard (we will be using Menti for anonymity)

10:15   The View from Across the Pond, Q&A with Nicole R Smith, Director, Volunteer Service, Back on My Feet and Alec Lawson, Director of Experience and Operations, Baltimore Center Stage

10:45   Break

11:00   Neil Bird, Volunteer Development Manager, Trussell Trust

11:30    Helen Moore Start, Volunteer Coordinator, Greenwich Inclusion Project

12:00  Q&A with Neil and Helen

12:30 Event ends

Don’t delay: this event has limited places, so book your place today!

Ticket prices: £40 non-members, £25 AVM members. Please log in to access your discount.

Our speakers

  • Nicole R Smith, Director, Volunteer Service, Back on My Feet
  • Alec Lawson, Director of Experience and Operations, Baltimore Center Stage
  • Neil Bird, Volunteer Development Manager, Trussell Trust
  • Helen Moore Start, Greenwich Inclusion Project

About Nicole

Nicole is a Panamanian-American, workforce development specialist, published author of Game On! Relentlessly Pursue Your Dreams and the 101 Note-taking Affirmation Journal Series, motivational speaker, blogger podcast host of From The Suggestion Box; Navigating Feedback The Good The Bad and the Say Whaaatttt??? and dancer. She earned her Bachelor’s degree via a Division I full-ride track scholarship and after graduating, she founded Step It Up! Inc., a non-profit dance organization. Her experience in sports and entertainment, radio, TV and the performing arts has spanned nearly 20 years covering the Chicago, Houston and Miami markets. She has danced and cheered for four Professional and Semi-Professional sports teams, has prepared more than 500 interns to enter the workforce and has inspired crowds upwards of 2000. She was a contributing writer for The Life of a Single Mom for two years and in October 2020 she was awarded an Emerging Leader Award from Alive Impact Awards for Volunteer Engagement Professionals. In 2019 she was listed as one of WLRN’s “Local Women Who Inspire You” and was selected as one of Legacy Miami’s Most Prominent and Influential Black Women In Business and Industry of 2019. She is passionate about giving back to her community and does so by sitting on the Boards of the Association for Leaders In Volunteer Engagement, the Arts and Business Council of Miami and Ageless CHIC Magazine.

About Neil

Neil is Volunteer Development Manager at the Trussell Trust. Throughout his career, he has been committed and passionate about Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion, with a focus on ensuring that volunteering opportunities are open and accessible, and a positive volunteering experience is had by all. Neil has worked and volunteered alongside people from many different backgrounds and across a broad range of protected characteristics on both a practical and policy level.

Neil has met and learnt from some amazing people in the third sector, and is committed to his own learning and development to better understand the challenges and barriers that people often face. Neil’s presentation will focus on his own personal experiences of inclusion and will provide an overview of his work with recruiting and supporting volunteers, what he has done to create and support an inclusive volunteering culture, including increasing the diversity of volunteers from a wide range of backgrounds, ages, and experiences. Some of his many highlights include his time as volunteer co-ordinator at Waverley Care, where he planned and delivered new volunteering programmes across all services, and as fund manager for Scottish Government’s Volunteering Support Fund, which was established to recruit and support volunteers from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Neil is currently working towards delivering a sustainable increase in the diversity of Trussell Trust volunteers, alongside reviewing, and updating all their volunteering policies and templates. This includes a strong focus on continuing to build an inclusive culture where people feel valued, and their contributions are recognised. Neil believes that inclusion should be the golden thread that runs through all volunteering policies, strategies, management, and programmes.

About Helen

Helen is a recent MA Graduate in Refugee Studies and an avid volunteer. Helen has 8 years’ experience in volunteer management, across organisations large and small. Helen is currently coordinating a group of volunteers supporting the Greenwich Sanctuary Project. With her background working with refugees and migrants, she is no stranger to the challenges of creating an inclusive program.

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Discount for AVM members

AVM members are eligible for a discount on the event ticket price. Please check your latest members’ email for your discount code. To access your discount, please add the code into the Coupon code section before you check out.

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  • Exclusive member-only events, including AVM’s business book club
  • A back catalogue of selected past events
  • AVM Connect, our random matching, connecting you to expand your networks
  • AVM’s mentoring programme

Join AVM today to access your discount on your event.

Don’t delay: this event has limited places, so sign up today!

Ticket prices: £40 non-members, £25 AVM members. Please log in to access your discount.


March 3, 2022
9:30 am - 12:30 pm
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Online on Zoom