New survey for volunteer managers from JIVE (Justice Involving Volunteers in Europe)

Introduction to project and European research on volunteering within the Criminal Justice System (CJS)

I am leading an exciting new project in Clinks, the membership organisation for voluntary sector organisations working with offenders and their families, called Justice Involving Volunteers in Europe.

We are currently undertaking a piece of Europe-wide research on the role and value of volunteers within the sector because little has ever been commissioned, so I would like to hear your views and experiences by completing our online survey.

The project is exploring the role and value of volunteers across the European Criminal Justice System (CJS), with a particular focus on (ex) offenders, their families and victims of crime.

This research will come together in a final report to be formally launched in Germany next spring 2015.  We will disseminate the findings to policy makers and agencies across the EU in the hope to put volunteering within the sector on government agendas, and really promote its value to the sector and wider society.

How can you have your say and feed into this research?

As volunteer managers I don’t need to win you over or persuade you of the importance and the benefits of volunteering because you already know! However, what I would like is to hear your opinion and experiences of recruiting, training and managing volunteers within your organisation; it is this information which is vital to the project and will help shape in part its direction and structure, so please spare me 20 minutes of your time to complete the survey and help us inform volunteering for the future.

Further information and resources for you

Clinks will be running its ‘Working with offenders’ training course on 2nd and 3rd October 2014 – you can find out more here and submit an application.

Clinks has also published a range of free guides targeted at those who involve volunteers, or provide mentoring and befriending services to (ex) offenders, these guides are designed to support any organisation whether they are already established or just setting up. Hard copies are available on request.

The project is funded by the European Commission. Please visit our webpage for further information including newsletters and details of our other partners.

It would be great to hear some of your thoughts and views – you can email me at

Written by Robert Price – Events Co-ordinator – Clinks

How govt definitions over-estimate levels of volunteering

nfpSynergy have published a briefing (PDF) on over-estimating levels of volunteering which does make for interesting reading.

In it they suggest that loose definitions make for over-estimates and make some interesting recommendations; that ‘informal volunteering’ should be re-christened as neighbourliness or community spirit, that volunteering should therefore just refer to ‘formal volunteering’ and that how volunteering is defined within the Citizenship survey questions should be tightened.

Measuring volunteering is of course notoriously difficult. Not only does it depend on a person’s own perception of volunteering or the questions actually posed, but it is easier to say what isn’t volunteering rather than what is.

The differing figures from nfpsynergy, the Citizenship Survey and the National Surveys clearly indicate that we do need some form of acceptable uniformity. And maybe the answer will come from the UN. Earlier this year it confimred that it will issue guidelines on how national governments should measure voluntary work in national surveys.

New Survey from Red Foundation

Calling all volunteer managers!

Red Foundation has launched a new online survey to look at the support available to volunteer managers and volunteers who run projects. Are volunteer managers isolated in their work? Do you get to speak with other volunteer managers? Do you use Facebook to reach other people doing work like yours? Or to reach volunteers? Where do you get the information you need? How do you learn how best to recruit and manage volunteers?

This survey is part of the Modernising Volunteering Improving Support project which will inform the work of front-line support providers. This means that what you tell us will have a genuine impact on what support volunteer managers and volunteer-led projects will have in the future. If you want change – tell us! If you want things to stay the way they are – tell us!

The survey is anonymous and only takes a few minutes to fill in. To see it, go to or visit Red Foundation website – – for more information. You can also opt to register your contact details to take part in the free prize draw, which will be made in January.

If you can help to make the survey available to more people, please forward this email or direct people to the Red Foundation website. If you would like a link to add your own website or e-newsletter, please email or call the number below.

Thank you!

Red Foundation
0845 299 7162

Volunteer Manager Survey – results

To coincide with International Volunteer Managers’ Appreciation Day, AVM, in partnership with the Scottish Association for Volunteer Management, is launching the results  of our survey of Volunteer Managers.

There are some interesting findings from it:

64% say there is good internal support for their role and 69% say their line manager understands the challenges they face.

However 53% say volunteer managers lack a support structure, 76% say there is no clear career development path and 57% say that volunteer managers have a low status.

This seems to suggest there there is growing contentment at the internal support they receive but wider worries about the status and support for the profession – one of the reasons why we decided there was a need for AVM.

What do you think?

Do you manage volunteers?

The UK Workforce Hub are currently undertaking a project to review and refresh the Management of Volunteers National Occupational Standards to ensure they meet the needs of managers in the voluntary and community sector through to 2014.

We are inviting you to take part in a consultation process which asks you to contribute your views on the draft standards which have been updated by a steering group and a consultant. It begins on the 18th October will run until 18th January 2008.

There are 2 ways in which you can have your say:

1. Attend one of the consultation events which are being held in Edinburgh, Belfast, Swansea and London during November and December. Please click here to download a booking form and to get further information on the consultation process please visit

2. By email please visit from the 18th October there will be a questionnaire for you to complete as well as the newly revised standards.

For more information visit:

Debbie Usiskin
Interim Head of Volunteering Strategy

T: 020 7619 7265

Survey on Volunteer Managers

AVM, in partnership with the Scottish Association for Volunteer Management, is carrying out a short survey to find out how volunteer managers feel about their work.

Encouragingly, the role of volunteer managers is becomingly increasingly recognised, as seen by the reference in the Third Sector review and recent remarks by Phil Hope, Minister for the Third Sector, who said that one of his office’s volunteering priorities is to better support people who manage and train volunteers.

However, little is known about the thoughts and views of volunteer managers. This survey will provide a starting point for AVM and SAVM in our work to champion the role of volunteer managers. Please go to the survey here.

The deadline is 19th October 2007. The results will be released to coincide with International Volunteer Manager Appreciation Day (1st November).

Please pass the link on to any of your colleagues who you feel it might be relevant to. If you have any problems with the survey please contact

Commission on the Future of Volunteering

The Commission on the Future of Volunteering is calling for evidence. AVM has put together an initial draft response to the Commission which is attached. If members wish to feed into the AVM response with their own thoughts and views please respond by Thursday 26th July.

The deadlines for submissions is Tuesday 31st July. For further information about the Commission go to