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Volunteering activity is the bedrock of the VCS and this is a time for dramatic change for volunteering as it is given a more prominent role in the Big Society agenda.

The Citizenship Survey shows that 41% of the UK population volunteer formally once a year. It is estimated that an even larger number of people volunteer informally, by giving unpaid help to people who are not relatives (outside any formal setting).

Based on a survey of volunteering across the East Midlands carried out in September 2010, around 15,000 people have been supported into formal volunteering roles in the last year with more than 20,000 volunteering opportunities still available.

One East Midlands supports the England Volunteering Council (EVDC) in the region, which aims to capture the intelligence of a broad range of organisations in the region and act as a powerful lobby to steer government policy.

Up to £50,000 to help volunteer centres innovate

Following discussions between Volunteering England and Nesta, the Minister for Civil Society has announced a new strand of the Innovation in Giving fund, which will support accredited volunteer centres to develop new ways to encourage the giving of time.

Volunteering England / NCVO merger

The merger of Volunteering England and NCVO has now been finalised and the two organisations will come together formally on 1 January 2013.

Streetlife local social network

Streetlife is a new local social network at www.streetlife.com, which aims to provide a free and simple place to connect people in their area and share local knowledge, advice, skills and belongings; so together they can make the most of where they live.

Volunteer management in the justice system

Skills for Justice is developing a National Competency Assessment Framework for people who manage volunteers in the justice sector, which will outline the key skills, training opportunities and standards required to ‘do the job properly’.

Asylum seekers and volunteering

Following Volunteering England’s recent letter to the Home Office, in conjunction with Refugee Action, seeking clarification of the policy regarding permission to volunteer for asylum seekers who have had their appeal rights exhausted, the head of asylum policy at UKBA has asked for a meeting with them.

Volunteers’ Week 2013

Volunteering England has confirmed that Volunteers’ Week 2013 will take place as usual from 1 to 7 June.

New volunteering website

ThirdSectorVolunteering is a new website, launched by Third Sector magazine, which aims to link charities with people who want to volunteer.

Volunteering England / NCVO merger

Volunteering England has entered into formal merger discussions with NCVO.

Professional volunteers drive

CSV has announced a new volunteering drive to get 9,000 professionals and recent retirees involved with more than 400 community groups over the next twelve months. The scheme, called the Professionals programme, has been backed by a £705,603 grant from the Cabinet Office’s Social Action Fund.


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