Hope the first few weeks of January are going well for you? A little bit of volunteering news from us first;

We have updated our best practice guide on recruiting volunteers with some recent safeguarding updates, please follow this link to our website. Have you booked on to our free safeguarding workshop for volunteer managers next week? Sign up here! It will be useful if you are already aware of your responsibilities or if you are new in post it will introduce you to what you need to know.

We often get contacted by volunteers who live outside Milton Keynes but have seen a volunteering opportunity we are promoting within the city, via the Do-it website. Have you thought about how you might capitalise on this? It can be relatively quick and easy to create a ‘digital’ or ‘micro’ volunteering opportunity. Check out our Digital Volunteering factsheet here.

We love getting feedback from groups who we help to recruit volunteers. Buckingham Canal Society recently said;

“Without Community Action: MK’s encouragement and practical help we would never have been able to involve volunteers. They are always there to help make sure policies are in place and advise about legal issues. They promoted our opportunities which enabled us to get some really good volunteers. Our organisation is involved with the conservation and restoration of the Buckingham arm of the Grand Union Canal by organising regular work parties to carry out the tasks so it’s really important we have volunteers, we just couldn’t run without them.”

Featured Volunteering Opportunity:

Are you looking to get experience in events management? Deaf Zone MK are looking for volunteers to help make their social events really special – find out more here.

065/365: Show us your smile!

From NCVO: What challenges will volunteering face in 2016?

“Funding will continue to be an issue in 2016. While volunteering delivers enormous value it is not cost free, but this is a truism many policy makers and funders seem incapable of grasping.

Volunteer management remains a Cinderella profession and needs far greater investment and recognition if it is to deliver to its full potential. As do Volunteer Centres which will continue to feel the brunt of local authority cuts. Many are successfully re-inventing themselves to survive and thrive in the new reality, but further changes will be required if they are to continue to be able to provide the support volunteering needs at a local level.

And depressingly, given all the work which has gone into building better relations between local job centres and volunteer centres over the years, we are still hearing stories of job coaches not giving the right information on ‘volunteering while on benefits’ which is limiting the contribution volunteering can play to skills development and employability.

But to finish on a positive note. With the BBC planning a volunteering season for next year, and with London confirmed as the European Capital of Volunteering 2016, there is perhaps an opportunity to shift the media focus on charities onto a more positive plane.”

More than One Billion People Volunteer Globally

This was one of the headline findings from the UN’s State of the World Volunteerism report, published in June.

Basic Income Could Boost Levels of Volunteering

NESTA predict 2016 as a big year for the development of Basic Income. This could be a real boost for volunteering, allowing more people who want to volunteer, to spend their time doing so without being financially penalised. Read more

Volunteers are amazing!

Volunteers from the Skipchen organisation travelled to Lesbos in November to build a field kitchen. Sam Joseph, co-founder of Skipchen, said other bodies had seen their work and want them to repeat the project on other islands. The group had previously run a cafe in Bristol stocked with unwanted food. Via BBC.