Inclusive volunteering, Inspiring participation

Videos, slides and links from ‘Inclusive volunteering, Inspiring participation’, 19 September 2018. This even was part of the Stirling Volunteering Festival and in association with Heritage Volunteer Organisers Scotland (HVOS). Morning keynote: ‘Inclusion at Macmillan Cancer Support is only possible through proper support of volunteer managers’ Ruth Leonard, Head of Volunteer Development, Macmillan Cancer Support…

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Conference tickets are selling out fast!

Have you got your ticket for the volunteer management event of the year? If not, don’t delay as tickets are selling out fast, and some of the seminars are fully booked.

If you’re still wondering if it’s for you, here are a few reasons why we think you should come to conference!

We have three fantastic keynote speakers:

  • Tiger de Souza, Director (Volunteering, Participation & Inclusion), National Trust. Tiger will be gazing into his volunteer management crystal ball to talk about Futurology: The UK trends that may impact Volunteering by 2030
  • Helen Timbrell, People and Organisational Development Consultant. Helen will be discussing how we can get past Groundhog Day, and why our leadership needs to change the conversations we’re having about volunteering.
  • Chris Jones, CEO, England Athletics. Chris will share how England Athletics have put volunteering at their heart.

We have wide choice of workshops and seminars from sector experts, to suit a wide variety of interests:

  • Mindfulness and Resilience
  • Organisational Values and Volunteering
  • Research partnerships- volunteering and academia working together
  • Rethinking the Data We Collect
  • Leadership Competencies
  • How to have difficult conversations
  • So you think you want a volunteer management system?
  • Building confidence for volunteers with support needs

Your peers recommend conference as a great way to learn, develop and build your networks.

Delegates who attended last year’s conference said:

  • “Really great keynote speakers, individually and good variety across them. Great to have peers in the sector sharing learning in workshops. Always good to hear what others are up to and have a chance to discuss challenges candidly and support each other”
  • “Workshop sessions where we could share ideas and experiences. Friendliness of organisers. Interesting final keynote speaker”
  • “Networking was great, standard of speakers was high, I felt stretched by the discussions”
  • “Networking, exchanging ideas, free range to think outside the box – not always possible in a work context!”

AVM’s annual conference is the industry leading event, bringing together Heads of Volunteering, Directors of Volunteering and Volunteer Managers from the broadest spectrum of volunteer organisations.

View the full conference details and book your tickets.

The end of the committee? Volunteering structures in a changing world

Sarah Merrington is Senior Development Manager for CIPD (the professional body for HR), recruiting HR professionals as volunteers to support job seekers and those who want to develop in their careers, and an AVM Volunteer.

conference table and chairs with three large question marks on the table

Even though I have worked in volunteer management for some time, and for several organisations, there is always one thing that has both challenged and impressed me. Local groups of volunteers running community activities for local people. It warms my heart and fills me with hope, to see people giving back to others by running activities that their friends, family, colleagues and community can get involved in.

As someone who has always sung in local choirs or played sport I have definitely benefitted from these great local ‘group’ volunteers – the ones who love the activity or the cause so much they organise things so others can feel the same.

I’ve been there, as a treasurer and an events lead for local groups near me. But now as a volunteering professional it is certainly an area which I struggle to get my head round.

Community volunteers in leadership roles for their local group are a key area of volunteering for many charities and organisations. But how people want to volunteer is changing. Modern-day lifestyles can be challenging for people to find time to get more involved. People tend to move in and out of volunteering rather than wanting to volunteer consistently for an extended period.

So it is increasingly difficult to recruit into traditional committee-based volunteering roles, which can be perceived as too time-consuming, dry or old fashioned. It seems as though many people want to be out there “doing the doing” rather than planning the organisation and undertaking governance to make the “doing” possible.

In my experience, the main difficulties appear to be finding people to make the commitment, finding younger people and attracting diverse volunteers who better represent the community. In particular, by being unable to recruit younger members, committees remain heavily reliant on an ageing army of volunteers, hugely committed but with little opportunity for fresh ideas or succession planning.

Of course, I am generalising and there also many young, diverse and committed volunteers out there running activities for their community. But they are not attracted to the roles or organisations that I have been working for. And we need to change ourselves and our structures to encourage them to do so.

I have also found that there are issues relating to group structures where volunteers have been engaged for a long time and doing things in a certain way for often many years. There are challenges with encouraging innovation and change and driving different ways of working such as implementing new processes and systems.

How we do keep them engaged, keep them on message and remain compliant with up to date processes and procedures? How do we do this whilst also ensuring their organisational roles are interesting, simple, rewarding and empowering?

Having battled with this for a while and consistently meeting volunteering colleagues in other organisations who feel the same, it was time to do something about it.

On 2 October, AVM supported by Sport England, will be running a workshop for anyone battling with this topic or with practical ideas and ways of solving some of these issues. This is a new networking session, but it won’t provide you with all the answers. It aims to bring us all together to share ideas, solutions and work out how, as volunteering professionals, we can move forward this common, rewarding but challenging topic.

The end of the committee? Volunteering structures in a changing world‘ is an intentionally worded title. Not because we definitely think it is the end, but because we want to prompt a debate and find people who do things differently who we can learn from.

I am excited about the speakers who bring with them a wealth of knowledge in volunteer governance, new ideas on ways local groups can run themselves and good practice in consulting, managing and communicating with local group volunteers.

But primarily it is a chance to network and share experiences with others in similar positions and help move forward conversation in this area together, rather than tackling it individually.

Please join us to engage in this debate, wearing your optimistic, solution-focused shoes!

Find out more or book your place for our event ‘The end of the committee? Volunteering structures in a changing world‘, 2 October 2018, 11:00 am – 4:00 pm, at Sport England office, London.


Book now

Sarah has over 18 years experience in project, event and volunteer management with her main area of expertise is in managing and delivering projects that promote and engage people in positive health and environmental behaviours. The majority of these have been established to increase communities’ physical activity levels and to improve nutritional habits. She has developed programmes across a range of different settings and population groups within local communities, schools and youth groups, workplaces, general practice and higher education. Volunteers have always been at the heart of her programmes, whether student representatives running sports clubs in universities, community volunteers and activists driving forward local change or members of an organisation looking to give back to their sector. Over the last year she supported Cycling UK to write their new 5-year volunteering strategy and ensure that volunteers were central to their organisation. She is now Senior Development Manager leading on mentoring for CIPD (the professional body for HR), recruiting HR professionals as volunteers to support job seekers and those who want to develop in their careers.

New perspectives on measuring the health and wellbeing benefits: a new L&D event

Measuring the health and wellbeing benefits of volunteering: A new perspective.

9th August, the Crypt, London E1 6LY, 10:30 -4:30 pm

Book now! 

We know that volunteering is beneficial both mentally and physically, but how can we measure the extent of that benefit? Can we quantify the benefits -‘put a number’ on the improvement in wellbeing? Is it possible to showcase the societal advantages of a particular programme?

This event brings together a range of organisations that have a particular interest in measuring wellbeing. We will hear from organisations that work with particular groups of volunteers, such as family groups, young people or disadvantaged communities, and why they targeted wellbeing and/or health as areas of particular interest. We will consider different approaches to measuring impact and how the resulting data can be utilised in various ways to translate the evidence into action.

We will also hear from organisations with a broader interest in measuring volunteer behaviour and wellbeing, how they bring together information from diverse sources to build up an overall picture of volunteer activity in the wider community, and how this can then be used to better understand more localised situations.

The day will include  presentations from: Ceris Anderson and Steve Welsher of StreetGames; Ruth Townsley of Happy City; Ingrid Abreu Scherer of What Works Centres for Wellbeing; Lee Ashworth of the “If: Volunteering for wellbeing” project and Dr. Ricky Lawton of Jump Projects.

With a combination of practitioners and researchers, this important issue will be addressed from a range of perspectives, and we welcome audience participation and involvement. There will be networking opportunities and round-table discussions to allow attendees to share and consider their own experiences.

Book now!

Annual conference: 18th October 2018, Royal National hotel, London:

Early bird tickets will be available in July.

With three exceptional keynotes confirmed and a choice from 8 workshops and seminars, this year’s conference is shaping up to be the biggest and best yet!

Watch this space and the ‘Upcoming events‘ page for information.

Time is money: Investing in volunteer time drives income

Time is money -Investing in volunteer time drives income Videos from AVM’s Time is money: Investing in volunteer time drives income, 24 April 2018 The social value of volunteering in a charity shop  Robin Osterley, Chief Executive, Charity Retail Association Restructuring retail volunteering Roy Clark, Director for Retail and Trading, Barnardo’s Growing a retail operation…

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Volunteering for all: Measuring the Health and Wellbeing Benefits

Videos from Volunteering for all: Measuring the Health and Wellbeing Benefits, 15 March 2018 Blog Laura Hamilton, Laura Hamilton Consulting and Gareth Williams, LGBT Foundation share their thoughts on our health and wellbeing event. The”IF: Volunteering for wellbeing” project Emma Horridge, Manchester University and Lee Ashworth, Imperial War Museum Working with younger volunteers Wendy Hunwick-Brown,…

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Diversity in Volunteering: Attracting different demographics

Videos from Diversity in Volunteering: Attracting different demographics, 22 February 2018 Blog ‘Diversity event: Are you ready to be uncomfortable?’, Keeley Mooney, Volunteer Development Officer, The Royal British Legion Inclusivity in volunteering Rupal Karia and Charlotte Handel – VC Hackney The Heads of Volunteering from Hackney Volunteer Centre covered diversity in the broader sense; what…

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GDPR & IG – What will be the impact and are we ready for it?

Videos from AVM’s GDPR & IG -What will be the impact and are we ready for it? event, 23 January 2018. One year into RNLI’s GDPR journey Tom Payne, Data Governance Analyst and Esme Chapman, Data Governance Analyst, RNLI Dealing with an Enforcement Notice Kate Adams, Head of Volunteering and Amy Symons, Volunteering Support Manager,…

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Exploring Digital Technology for Volunteer Management

Videos from Exploring Digital Technology for Volunteer Management event, 5 December 2017 How to run a webinar Ed Shrager, Alzheimer’s Society What makes good e-learning, and how can we apply this to our limited budgets? Daisy Charlton, Macmillan Cancer Support…

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AVM Conference 2017

Videos from AVM’s conference, 18 October 2017 Keynote Speech: National Service for the UK? What the government’s independent Youth Full-Time Social Action Review might mean for full-time volunteers James Probert, Director, The Full Time Social Action Alliance Keynote Speech: How to develop and support volunteer led management across a movement Julie Bentley, Chief Executive of…

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