Opening doors to volunteering (EYV11)

EYV11 – ‘Opening the door to volunteering to underrepresented groups’ This programme was funded by the Cabinet Office as part of the European Year of Volunteering 2011.

This programme was designed to:

  • create an enabling environment for inclusive volunteering
  • produce a dynamic resource of guidance, empowering volunteer involving organisations to fully engage with their communities in voluntary activities
  • raise awareness about the value and importance of inclusive volunteering
  • provide a legacy of an active inclusive volunteering community

This involved a mapping of current research and good practice in engaging with volunteers who are traditionally less likely to volunteer. This review explored research and good practice guides produced to date, but also incorporated action learning networks to identify current developments and pioneering practices; this involved both face-to-face and on-line discussions.

Face-to-face discussions were facilitated via 27 action learning workshops on topics related to inclusive volunteering in different English regions. These were advertised widely and took place between September and November 2011. On-line discussions were facilitated on the Attend Connect forum, and a number of case studies were developed as a result, which identified how current practitioners progressing their own inclusive volunteering initiatives. NB This forum has been built using the same social networking platform as ‘i-volunteer’, and has the capacity to facilitate significant sharing of learning.

In addition, Attend reviewed and presented small-scale projects with volunteering organisations, in order to identify and celebrate the enabling factors that underpin an inclusive volunteering environment.

Research Methodology

This document explains the framework that underpins the research.

It’s based on a model of ‘talent management’, which considers talent as combination of ‘Commitment’, ‘Competence’ and ‘Contribution’. This model appears to have significant synergy with volunteer management.

The research is also designed to be interactive, with the ability to absorb feedback from relevant organisations, and also reflect the contribution of participants from the EYV11 Opening Doors Action Learning Workshops.

Themes

Over half of homeless people wish to put something back into the community and help those less fortunate. This page explores how these aspirations can be realised.

Interactive Mindmap

This mind-map depicts the various barriers and strategies to inclusive volunteering relevant to this topic. These are each related to the key aspects of the ‘talent management’ model. The mind-map also features embedded links sign-posting users to research sources and supporting resources.

View Mind Map

Also, as we receive further research from the volunteer-involving community, we will update the mind-map and supporting resources.

Analysis and further areas to explore

This document summarises the key issues arising from the research, which are presented as current gaps in practice and knowledge in this inclusive volunteering topic. The last section outlines the key questions to guide further research on how to fill these gaps. It’s this section that we need to progress together as a sector, and please feel free to contribute thoughts and examples of emerging good practice, by emailing [email protected].

Interactive Mindmap

This mind-map depicts the various barriers and strategies to inclusive volunteering relevant to this topic. These are each related to the key aspects of the ‘talent management’ model. The mind-map also features embedded links sign-posting users to research sources and supporting resources.

View Mind Map

Also, as we receive further research from the volunteer-involving community, we will update the mind-map and supporting resources.

Analysis and further areas to explore

This document summarises the key issues arising from the research, which are presented as current gaps in practice and knowledge in this inclusive volunteering topic. The last section outlines the key questions to guide further research on how to fill these gaps. It’s this section that we need to progress together as a sector, and please feel free to contribute thoughts and examples of emerging good practice, by emailing [email protected].

Business case for engaging disabled volunteers

This link presents the key areas to focus on to build up a business case for engaging disable people as volunteers.

The research highlighted a distinct lack of overt ‘sponsors’ (particularly within non-disability related organisations), for involving disabled people as volunteers.

The research also highlighted a range of ‘blockers’, and this means that it is of critical importance to develop a ‘business case’ for engaging with disabled volunteers.

The need for this is even more apparent when considering the various ‘influencers’ (both positive and negative). All can be influenced by a suitable business case.

Interactive Mindmap

This mind-map depicts the various barriers and strategies to inclusive volunteering relevant to this topic. These are each related to the key aspects of the ‘talent management’ model. The mind-map also features embedded links sign-posting users to research sources and supporting resources.

View Mind Map

Also, as we receive further research from the volunteer-involving community, we will update the mind-map and supporting resources.

Analysis and further areas to explore

This document summarises the key issues arising from the research, which are presented as current gaps in practice and knowledge in this inclusive volunteering topic. The last section outlines the key questions to guide further research on how to fill these gaps. It’s this section that we need to progress together as a sector, and please feel free to contribute thoughts and examples of emerging good practice, by emailing [email protected].

Interactive Mindmap

This mind-map depicts the various barriers and strategies to inclusive volunteering relevant to this topic. These are each related to the key aspects of the ‘talent management’ model. The mind-map also features embedded links sign-posting users to research sources and supporting resources.

View Mind Map

Also, as we receive further research from the volunteer-involving community, we will update the mind-map and supporting resources.

Analysis and further areas to explore

This document summarises the key issues arising from the research, which are presented as current gaps in practice and knowledge in this inclusive volunteering topic. The last section outlines the key questions to guide further research on how to fill these gaps. It’s this section that we need to progress together as a sector, and please feel free to contribute thoughts and examples of emerging good practice, by emailing [email protected].

Case for engaging with faith-based organisations 

Before commencing this research, it was important to establish the extent that engaging with faith-based organisations (FBOs) supported the theme of ‘Opening Doors to Volunteering’.

The findings of this review are presented the format of a mind-map, and highlighted the following rationale:

  1. FBOs have significant reach into communities and people who are traditionally less likely to volunteer, with an impact that encourages social inclusion.
  2. When FBOs and the secular voluntary/community sector work effectively in partnership there is a positive impact on the partners involved and on the wider community.
  3. There is much untapped potential to develop partnership working.
  4. FBOs are already involved in a wide variety of volunteering activity in the community.
  5. The current research available is too generic to identify what makes partnerships with FBOs work.

It is therefore clear that FBOs have a significant role to play in engaging with those people who are traditionally less likely to volunteer.

Interactive Mindmap

This mind-map depicts the various barriers and strategies to inclusive volunteering relevant to this topic. These are each related to the key aspects of the ‘talent management’ model. The mind-map also features embedded links sign-posting users to research sources and supporting resources.

View Mind Map

Also, as we receive further research from the volunteer-involving community, we will update the mind-map and supporting resources.

Analysis and further areas to explore

This document summarises the key issues arising from the research, which are presented as current gaps in practice and knowledge in this inclusive volunteering topic. The last section outlines the key questions to guide further research on how to fill these gaps. It’s this section that we need to progress together as a sector, and please feel free to contribute thoughts and examples of emerging good practice, by emailing [email protected].

Interactive Mindmap

This mind-map depicts the various barriers and strategies to inclusive volunteering relevant to this topic. These are each related to the key aspects of the ‘talent management’ model. The mind-map also features embedded links sign-posting users to research sources and supporting resources.

View Mind Map

Also, as we receive further research from the volunteer-involving community, we will update the mind-map and supporting resources.

Analysis and further areas to explore

This document summarises the key issues arising from the research, which are presented as current gaps in practice and knowledge in this inclusive volunteering topic. The last section outlines the key questions to guide further research on how to fill these gaps. It’s this section that we need to progress together as a sector, and please feel free to contribute thoughts and examples of emerging good practice, by emailing [email protected].

Interactive Mindmap

This mind-map depicts the various barriers and strategies to inclusive volunteering relevant to this topic. These are each related to the key aspects of the ‘talent management’ model. The mind-map also features embedded links sign-posting users to research sources and supporting resources.

View Mind Map

Also, as we receive further research from the volunteer-involving community, we will update the mind-map and supporting resources.

Interactive Mindmap

This mind-map depicts the various barriers and strategies to inclusive volunteering relevant to this topic. These are each related to the key aspects of the ‘talent management’ model. The mind-map also features embedded links sign-posting users to research sources and supporting resources.

View Mind Map

Also, as we receive further research from the volunteer-involving community, we will update the mind-map and supporting resources.

Case Studies

Jemma Mindham, Area Manager working in the East of England for CSV responds to questions that explore how people with a learning disability are encouraged to claim their right to choice and opportunities to contribute within their communities. Jemma explains how the supported volunteer programme seeks to recognise the uniqueness of the individual, and what key management processes were put into place to facilitate this.

 “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”

Anais Nin (1903 – 1977)

This is a fascinating case study of a volunteering programme for young-offenders delivered in the 1970s, back in the days when volunteer management was young and talk was cheap!

The paper reflects a discussion with Andy Kelmanson, responsible for running the programme, and provides some interesting and inspirational food for thought for us all here, in these post CRB days.

 “Risk more than others think is safe
Care more than others think is wise
Dream more than others think is practical
Expect more than others think is possible”.

Maxim, Cadet.

Following the riots in the Summer of 2011, there was a recognition amongst many in the voluntary and community sector of a shared responsibility of a broader community remit, beyond the specific aims and objectives of their organisations.

However few mainstream volunteer-involving organisations have the skills and confidence to consider engaging with prisoners and ex-offenders. Resources are stretched, skills and experience are limited, and a fear of negative public perception is a real ‘blocking’ factor.

This paper reflects discussions with Carol Davis, Prison Volunteer Programme Coordinator at Sue Ryder on their pioneering Prison Volunteer Programme. As a mainstream VCS organisation themselves, their progress has much to teach and inspire the wider volunteer-involving community.

Probably the most significant finding about disabled volunteering from the literature review and the action learning workshops was that few mainstream VCS organisations had a business case for engaging with disabled volunteers. As a result there are few overt ‘sponsors’ of disabled volunteering within mainstream organisations.

This document uses the business case framework that was developed from the ‘Opening Doors to Volunteering’ programme, and presents 26 business reasons why Attend engage with volunteers with an Acquired Brain Injury. Whilst some of these relate to a ‘disability service-provider’ perspective, there will be many that could be applicable to others.

Attachments