Care homes volunteering scheme

A new programme to promote volunteering in care homes has been launched with volunteers being recruited to support older people in both residential and nursing care homes in five Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) areas across England, including South Derbyshire.

The scheme, run by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO), will see volunteers undertake activities with residents through a partnership between the care home and a nearby volunteer centre.

The 2012 care and support white paper, Caring For Our Future, which can be downloaded at, identified the need for closer integration of residential care homes with their communities and emphasised the benefits of promoting volunteering in care homes.

This project will identify and promote good practice in volunteering in care home settings, and support care home providers to develop the skills required to manage their own volunteering programmes.

The £540,000 scheme, funded by the Department of Health’s innovation programme, will run until March 2016. Around 400 residents are expected to benefit initially, with learning from the programme going on to shape and promote good practice for volunteering in the care home sector.

The project will match care homes across five CCG areas with their local volunteer centre. The volunteer centres will recruit volunteers to carry out personalised activities including befriending, IT skills, music and games. Tasks may also include taking residents to churches or cinemas, or helping them write letters. Some homes have expressed interest in volunteers supporting their residents to volunteer, for example by sharing their personal histories in local schools.

Skills for Care will be working with the project to develop the required training programmes to support volunteers and staff while NCVO’s Institute for Volunteering Research, whose website can be accessed at, will develop and conduct an evaluation of the scheme.

For further information on the scheme visit