This year our conference was a joint event with Cambridge City Council, sponsored by Ingleton Wood.
Check out all the presentations and feedback as well as pictures, videos and the fantastic graphic recording. There is information from each workshop that gives you a summary as well as links to some resources.
Opening speaker presentation
Veronique Jochum Head of Research NCVO talking about their Time Well Spent Research
NCVO carried out a big piece of research into volunteering. The reports can be downloaded here.
Making Connections launch presentation
More information on the CCVS research commissioned by Cambridge City Council into Employer Supported Volunteering can be found here.
Slides from the closing session
The closing session was an interactive session using Mentimeter.com. The final slides are available here.
The graphic recording pictures.
We had Susi Watson record the conference visually. Click the thumbnails to view larger versions.
Video and photos
To see the full playlist of videos go to our YouTube channel
We had over 230,000 impressions for #V4CNov2019. Check out some of the tweets here.
We have included a brief set of bullet points for each session as well as any presentations and some interesting links. We would like to thank all the presenters and facilitators.
How inclusive are we?
Hannah Touhey (Arthur Rank Hospice Charity)
Eddie Stadnik and Suzan Murrad (Cambridge Ethnic Community Forum)
To create inclusive organisations, we need to encourage people who may require some additional support to join our volunteer teams. For example, these volunteers may have disabilities, be recovering from mental ill health, have specific cultural requirements or face barriers because they are young or elderly. Many of these needs can be accommodated by making some reasonable adjustments.
Make sure everyone involved in your organisation understands the benefits of diversity and is aware of the value the organisation places on it.
- Encourage discussion to enhance awareness of what makes a positive volunteer experience, focus on asking people what they need and being inclusive in the language used.
- Share information on the common barriers people with additional needs face consider sharing materials such as Scope’s film on the Social Model of Disability
- Consider setting targets to recruit volunteers to reflect the community you serve. Target your recruitment to encourage diversity, simplify your recruitment process, think about where you advertise, use clear language, offer expenses, make it clear that training and support will be given as needed.
To find to a range of useful materials take a look at our Inclusive Volunteering webpage.
CCVS also have a Supported Volunteering project which offers support to people who experience barriers to volunteering, people can self-refer for help.
How flexible are we?
Chris Pursell & Ania Udalowska (Anglia Ruskin University);
To attract a wider range of people the voluntary sector needs to be more flexible with our volunteering offer. We need to:
- Keep time commitments low (at least initially)
- Allow people to try volunteering out via taster sessions or one-off events
- Allow people to volunteer in a group (including families) to build confidence and enjoyment
- Vary the way we communicate to attract the widest pool of volunteers
- Make finding out more about volunteering and applying for roles as timely and friction less as possible.
- Consider using a volunteer management system which gives volunteers more autonomy see our blog for more information.
- Minimise volunteer travel – we know people like to volunteer locally
NVCO have developed a practical guide to setting up a micro volunteering project for organisations.
Are we making volunteering attractive and relevant?
Roxanne de Beaux (CamCycle)
Marika Newman (Eddies)
Lorrain Payne (Cambridge Citizen’s Advice Bureau)
Getting this right will impact on both on our ability to recruit and our ability to retain our volunteers.
- Find out why your existing volunteers joined and stay
Understand what people look for in volunteering particularly by:
- making a difference to others or to their community or environment
- meeting new people and have an enjoyable experience
- gaining training and learn new skills or use existing skills
- Be aware that we are competing not just with other volunteer opportunities, but all the other ways people can choose to spend their free time.
- Do your volunteers need specific skills or backgrounds? Can you use this to target them both through the message you create and the way you distribute your message?
- Create a recruitment message that will focus on the difference they will make and not the task you need doing.
- Develop roles flexible enough to adapt to the individual
Create advertising that will:
- Attract their attention
- Engage their interest
- Make it easy for them to find out more
- Utilise your branding to aid recognition
- Use your stories – CCVS have a half day workshop on The power of storytelling for community groups
- Utilise your networks to spread your recruitment message. Encourage your existing volunteers to talk to colleagues and friends and bring them along to see what you do.
- Create ‘gateway volunteering’ short, standalone activities (micro volunteering) that require minimal commitment such as delivering leaflets or making a cake.
- Streamline your application process and make your communications prompt and friendly
To retain volunteers:
- Keep them engaged, informed and consulted
- Give them the support or training they need for their role
- Tell them about the difference they are making
- Create opportunities for them to network and socialise
- Ensure they feel valued and thank you them regularly, you could also consider reward schemes such as time credits.
CCVS run a range of workshops for volunteer managers including Recruiting and Retaining Volunteers. We also have more resources on our website including the NCVOs research report Time Well Spent which provides us with a treasure trove of valuable data.
How do we make business volunteering work for everyone?
Heidi Mulvey (Cambridge University Press)
Maria Varallo (Illuminate)
The focus here is on volunteering rather than funding. We know that many companies value volunteering to build employee engagement, encourage teamwork, support employee skill development, give back to their community and build positive brand recognition. We know that the voluntary sector benefits hugely from business contributions. However, too often the relationship between business and charity becomes one of customer and supplier rather than that of equal partners seeking to collaborate to achieve a shared goal. How can we make sure we get the balance right?
- Build meaningful relationships with a business based on shared values. For example, a housing charity might seek a partnership with builders/architects.
- Be clear on expectations from the outset
- Focus on what the business and charity can gain from each other in terms of skill-sharing – not financial gain
The key challenges that the voluntary sector say get in the way of building good partnerships are also the same challenges for the business sector:
- lack of time
- lack of expertise
- lack of network opportunities
- lack of understanding of the ‘other side’
- Creating good business/charity partnerships this benefits both parties and can create additional income opportunities for charities – such as being asked to provide expert knowledge on equality issues/mental health support packages for their business
We have more information and resources on this topic on our Employer Supported Volunteering page including our Making Connections report commissioned by Cambridge City Council which examines the potential development of employee supported volunteering in the City and beyond.
CCVS AGM 2019
The following documents are available to download. They cover the period 1st April 2018 - 31st March 2019
We are looking for new trustees
We are looking for new trustees both from our membership and from the wider community. If you are interested then please have a look at the recruitment page here. Or drop Mark a line email@example.com or call 01223 464696.
The commitment is a few day time meetings a year (generally every other month) held at the CCVS offices in Cambridge. We can pay full expenses and are keen to build the skills and diversity of the board.