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OCVA – Volunteers’ Week – ideas for developing volunteering programmes during Covid restrictions

June 3, 2021

National Volunteers Week logo1. Volunteering Week: Developing volunteering programmes during COVID Restrictions

 Ideas for Action

a) Social Media Volunteers (can be remote!)  

As life and community connections continue to play out online, having an engaging social media strategy is going to be critical for your organisation. Especially as you start to re-engage volunteers in your work.  While your organisation may already have a marketing team in place, it can help to have a volunteer work alongside them.

Check out how others are doing it: oxonvolunteers.org Social Media Volunteers

See how Street Angel Project Inc. is promoting their need for a social media volunteer.

b) Youth Instructor (can be virtual!)  

Does your organisation work with youth? If so, you are primed to offer opportunities for volunteers to act as an instructor!

This kind of work can take place in person for those who are comfortable, or virtually for those who prefer volunteering from home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The sky is the limit in regard to instruction areas:

  • Work with preschoolers? Recruit volunteers to lead a crafting activity or host an educational session about animals, colours, weather, etc.
  • Work with primary school children? Recruit volunteers to host a read aloud, teach about growth mindset.
  • Work with teens? Recruit volunteers to host instructional sessions on life skills such as cooking, job prep, home maintenance, study/test-taking skills, etc.

Grab some more ideas from oxonvolunteers.org school volunteering.

c) Sewing/Knitting Projects (can be remote!)  

What’s more comforting and warming than cosying up with a handmade quilt or blanket?! I can’t think of anything!

In a time when people are separated from family, friends, and their community, this extra sense of comfort can provide a little bit of extra joy.

Whether you work for a hospital, social services, school programme, or even a library, you can recruit volunteers to sew, knit, or crochet blankets and pass them along to your clients in need.

 How to use your craft skills to help others (craftscouncil.org.uk)


Crafting for Charity – The Foldline

Knitting for charity: 8 UK charities looking for volunteers (prima.co.uk)

Check out this “Purls of Wisdom” opportunity post (love the pun!) by Alliance Hospice for inspiration.

2. Covid-19 Voluntary Sector Impact Barometer

The Respond, Recover, Reset project with Nottingham Trent University has released its sixth report. May’s theme was volunteering and how it has changed during the pandemic, including:

  • numbers
  • time given
  • range of activities
  • intensity
  • skilled and digital volunteering
  • demographics
  • long-term outlook as we come out of lockdown.

The data from the report can be found in this month’s Respond, Recover, Reset barometer dashboard. Wave seven of the barometer survey was launched on 12 May, closed on 27 May and there were 277 responses.

3. Covid-19 guidance – updates

Step three of the government’s roadmap was announced on 17 May. Volunteering from home continues to be the current guidance, as we move towards easing of lockdown. Check the coronavirus involving volunteers guidance to help you keep up with the latest updates.

4. Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service:

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service (QAVS) is the highest award given to local volunteer groups across the UK. Nominations for the 2022 Award opened on 1 April and will close at 5.00 on 15 September 2021. Make sure to read the guidance notes and nominate a local group for the QAVS. Winners of the 2020 award will be announced on 2 June, during Volunteers’ Week.

5. Health Education England’s survey for Health and Care Volunteers

Health Education England’s (HEE) National Volunteering Unit is inviting health and care volunteers to complete a short survey. They wish to find out about the training volunteers have received and how HEE can better support health and care volunteers through education, training, and development resources.

Survey results will be used to improve learning and development resources for health and care volunteers. Please forward this survey to your health and care volunteers. The survey closes 31 July 2021. If you have any questions, email volunteer@hee.nhs.uk.

6. Investing in Volunteers: New Achievers

Investing in Volunteers (IiV) is the UK standard for volunteer management. The process helps you:

  1. strengthen your practice
  2. prove your excellent quality in your work
  3. make sure that the volunteering opportunities you offer is Time Well Spent.

In April, ten organisations based in England achieved the Investing in Volunteers standard. They represent brilliant examples of quality volunteer management and practice. Rachel Purvis, volunteer co-ordinator from George House Trust said:

We are absolutely thrilled to have been awarded the Investing in Volunteers standard. Volunteers are at the heart of George House Trust and we feel this award demonstrates our commitment to ensuring we provide our volunteer team with the best possible experience. We can’t wait to celebrate!

Read more about Investing in Volunteers.




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COVID-19: Support, advice and information for the community
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