What makes a great volunteering opportunity?
Did you know that seven out of ten people in the UK have volunteered before? (source: NCVO, Time Well Spent Report). For this Volunteers Week we’re reflecting on how we involve volunteers currently and what opportunities we have going forward.
Involving volunteers in challenging times
Volunteers bring us closer to the communities we are supporting, and we benefit from the ideas and efforts of a wide range of people. Managing volunteers also requires a great deal of people skills and organisational ability. In the aftermath of the pandemic and with the Cost of Living Crisis organisations are reporting that they are finding it harder to involve and keep volunteers. The NCVO has reported a small drop in the number of people volunteering and the levels of satisfaction of volunteers. A lot of traditional models of volunteering are no longer fit for purpose with today’s lifestyles and expectations – while the charity is sector is facing a challenging operating environment.
In response to these challenges, there is a lot of innovation in the volunteering sector. The Vision for Volunteering is a movement spearheaded by Navca to ‘future proof’ volunteering and ensure that is more diverse, innovative, ambitious, equitable and person-centred by 2032. There is a lot of ambition for change – so if you are interested in new ideas, this is great time to start involving volunteers!
Volunteering at Groundwork London – from parents to PWC
In Volunteers Week and throughout the year, there are a whole range of projects at GWL which involve volunteers in their work. The Grahame Park Loop in Barnet involves volunteers as a key part of their repairing and upcycling furniture with an age range of volunteers from 18 to their late sixties. The Nest involves parent volunteers who support young people with mental health difficulties. Gardeners in Waltham Forest help improve the beautiful William Morris Garden all year round. We also have a whole other range of volunteers who get involved in different projects.
The Volunteering Services team runs volunteer centres in Waltham Forest, Barnet and Kingston, supporting organisations that need volunteers and volunteers who want to give their time find each other. Finally, the Corporate Volunteering team provide exciting opportunities for corporate groups like PWC to give back to their local community through getting involved in gardening projects.
Get inspired – Start your Volunteer Journey
Wether it is to develop your skills, to connect with something you’re passionate about, to give something back to your community or to make friends, Volunteering is a great way to feel, and add, value by doing something with your available time. If you would like to explore local volunteering in Barnet, Waltham Forest or Kingston, please contact Molly Sweeney. For Corporate Volunteering opportunities, please contact Renee Etokakpan. Or, if you would like to learn about other volunteering opportunities at Groundwork, please contact Sarah Whitby.