• How can we reduce the barriers to a wider range of people engaging with our volunteering?
  • Where can I find an innovative way to demonstrate volunteering’s impact and value?
  • How can we encourage, enable and support people to step forward for their community?
  • Which different approaches can I use to effectively communicate with large teams or remote volunteers and colleagues?

AVM is delighted to return to Bristol for a second year with four leaders of volunteering who are driving forward the volunteer management profession. Together with you, they’ll tackle three important, vast and interconnected challenges…

Those who could most benefit from volunteering are the same people who are significantly less likely to volunteer. Does a community engagement approach to volunteering reduce the barriers to volunteering that people with less education, income and life chances face?

When making recommendations or putting together a case for support you need supporting evidence – otherwise you’re just expressing an opinion. Volunteers are often our greatest advocates: are we missing out on a key opportunity by not involving them in building and demonstrating impact?

The true test of whether we’ve moved people or changed something, is if it continues to move or change without us. Does influential marketing and communications hold the key for volunteer managers to increase buy-in, recruitment, retention and help manage change?

Join us at the premier event for volunteer managers in the South West to connect with learning, colleagues and good practice to strengthen the impact of your work.

–Scroll past the programme to secure your ticket–


10.00am Arrivals, networking, coffee and tea
10.30am Welcome from our hosts Andrew Hancock, Head of Volunteering, SS Great Britain
10.35am Introductions and icebreaker Daniel Ingram, AVM
10.55am [expand title=”Is community engagement the answer to volunteering’s diversity and recruitment challenges? (click to learn more)“]

In an era characterised by loneliness and isolation, do we need formal volunteering roles or friendship? In this interactive session Stephen will help you explore the boundaries between volunteering and community engagement. He’ll enable you to:

  • Question the rules we place on volunteering and weigh up their pros and cons
  • Explore ways you could widen your impact by taking a different approach to volunteering
  • Evaluate the risks and how we can minimise them
  • Consider the role of the modern leader of volunteering, and the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead
  • [/expand]

Stephen Dale, Head of Community Partnerships, Dorothy House Hospice Care
11.45am [expand title=”Flexible benefits – growing a small charity’s volunteering through marketing a new approach (click to learn more)“]

Hear how Sofia launched a new volunteering initiative using a digital platform and the strategic approach of Volunteer Makers. She’ll share how effectively marketing the new approach led to increased buy-in, recruitment, retention and helped manage change. Sofia’s session aims:

  • To share how to get heard as a smaller charity and the importance of marketing and communications to volunteer engagement.
  • To demonstrate how thinking about volunteering in its broadest sense, across an organisation, offers opportunities to engage more supporters and from a more diverse background.


Sofia Carosi, Corporate, Community and Events Fundraiser, HorseWorld
12.15pm Lunch [1 hr 5 m] – provided for you
12.45pm Free guided tour of the SS Great Britain – optional Volunteer Tour Guides, SS Great Britain
1.20pm [expand title=”Most Significant Change – using stories to demonstrate your impact (click to learn more)“]

‘In my work, I’d been reporting for 5 years on criteria set by Macmillan’s head office. I wanted to better demonstrate the reality of the amazing work our volunteers do when sat down face to face with someone affected by cancer.

‘This session will share my experience of using a qualitative, participatory process for measuring impact, called the Most Significant Change technique. This uses stories of impact and brings together a range of different stakeholders with varying perspectives to decide collectively on which stories best demonstrate significant change.’

What worked and didn’t? How did he adapt the methodology to suit their time frame and organisation? How did he use the findings to influence change? Piers will answer these questions and enable you to:

  • Consider who the main stakeholders are in your work and who you want to influence.
  • Begin developing a plan for using the Most Significant Change technique in your work.


Piers Cardiff, Volunteering Services Manager, Macmillan Cancer Support
2.10pm Group activity, networking, coffee and tea
2.35pm [expand title=”Now we’re talking – transforming digital volunteering communications (click to learn more)“]

Jo will share how creating a clear communication strategy helped get buy in from colleagues to her plans and the key tools she’s developed to effectively communicate with a large remote team of volunteers. The session aims to:

  • Show how other departments can be open to working with you and the benefit of working with communication experts.
  • Demonstrate the benefit of measuring engagement.


Jo Keller, Volunteering and Resourcing Manager, RNIB
3.05pm Q&A session

Our speakers answer your questions and discuss the key points with all our delegates.

Jo Keller, Piers Cardiff, Sofia Corosi and Stephen Dale
3.30pm Action planning and wrap up

We reflect on what we’ve learnt today and how we can continue learning and applying it in our workplaces.

Daniel Ingram, AVM
3.50pm Closing remarks and finish


Please use the hashtag #AVMBristol to join the conversation and involve others in this event.


Great Eastern Hall, SS Great Britain, Great Western Dockyard, Gas Ferry Road, Bristol, BS1 6TY


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June 19, 2019
10:00 am - 4:00 pm
£45.00 – £80.00
Event Category: