Learning & Development for Organisations – New Additional Benefits

The Association of Volunteer Managers (AVM) has been the foremost body for volunteer managers since we launched in 2007 and we are continuing to grow. One of the reasons for our success is our membership-driven outlook – we were set up and are still run by volunteer managers for volunteer managers and this gives us the opportunity to create a network of peers sharing ideas and experiences. Over the years our membership base has been steadily increasing and we want to develop this still further to ensure that as many people as possible can access our services and we can continue to be relevant to the sector.

At our Annual Conference in October 2016 we announced the launch of a Learning and Development Package for organisations, to run alongside our existing individual membership model. We believe this will give a choice to organisations about how to be involved with us and will extend our reach to a wider group of people to help meet the growing demand from the sector for professionalisation of volunteer management.

Today we’re excited to announce that we’ve secured special rates on one-day training from internationally renowned strategic volunteer engagement specialists Rob Jackson Consulting. This new addition is just one of a range of discounts and benefits available organisation-wide when you sign-up.

We run a range of services promoting great volunteer management and raising the profile of the work volunteering professionals do. Earlier in the year we employed our first member of staff, an Events Manager, which has helped us to grow our range of events, seminars and conferences.

We’re here to promote great volunteer management and raise the profile of the work of volunteering professionals, to inform best practice and inspiration from across the sector and beyond and we believe that our new Learning and Development package to organisations will help us to achieve this still further as well as ensure that your staff team receive the very best support, resources and development opportunities in volunteer management.

To find out more please see here.

“Joining us will place your organisation at the forefront of volunteering development, and ensure that your managers are inspired, engaged and supported by a large network of volunteer management professionals across the country.  If your organisation involves volunteers and manages volunteer programmes, directly or indirectly, then this is the association for you.”
Debbie Usiskin, Chair, Association of Volunteer Managers

Let unemployed volunteers claim benefits, says Acevo

Third Sector have reported that Stephen Bubb from Acevo, the chief executive’s body, has put forward a report to James Purnell, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, examining how the third sector could help to alleviate unemployment problems. The report contains nine key ideas, one of which, is apparently that “unemployed people should be able to claim benefits while volunteering with charities”. Obviously this suggestion comes as a bit of a surprise, because unemployed people already ARE allowed to claim benefits whilst volunteering. People who are recieving JSA must be actively seeking work whilst volunteering, so occasionally problems arise if people want to volunteer full time, but the vast majority of volunteer roles are part time, so there should be no problem at all.

Because I am a lowly Volunteer Manager, and not a Chief Executive, I’m not an ACEVO member, and can’t access any of the reports on their site. So it’s possible that Third Sector have got the wrong end of the stick. There is certainly a lot more that JobCentre Plus could be doing to support volunteering. For example, its still comon for their staff to miss-advise people about volunteering and benefits. So it’s possible that Mr Bubb may have been suggesting a change in culture, rather than a change in rules. However, it is worrying that this article has appeared, because it’s helping to perpetuate the myth that you might lose your benefits if you volunteer, a myth which creates a major barrier to many people offering time.

You can read the Third Sector article here:


And read the actual rules around benefits and volunteering here:

Job Centre Plus (PDF)

James Purnell – long term unemployed and volunteering

James Purnell issued a ministerial statement on Monday on the government's plans to get people who are long term unemployed back into work. Unsurprisingly volunteering is mentioned but, at least the way I read it, he seems to have made the assumption that most volunteering will be full time. 

Obviously this is far from true, very few people volunteering are doing so full time.  I've come up against this assumption a couple of times with governmenty peeps, and I'm wondering what effect this has on government plans around volunteering?  Do they see the CSV full time model as the norm, and is effecting their plans and strategies?

Liam Byrne expands (slightly!) on the scheme Purnell mentions. It's right at the end again!