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Dave Thomas, NCVS Volunteering Development Officer

Volunteering in Lockdown - Advice for Leaders of Volunteers

Dave Thomas, Volunteering Development Officer at NCVS, writes...

We are once again in lockdown and that means there will be a lot of vulnerable people out there who need the voluntary sector's help. The good news is that volunteering is allowed in lockdown including, where necessary, travel and overnight stays. However, we should be very mindful of ensuring that volunteering support is carried out safely, particularly with the knowledge we now have about the new strain of Coronavirus, which is spreading much more rapidly.

As Leaders of Volunteers, we have a responsibility to ensure that social distancing, remote contact and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) are incorporated into our volunteer programmes. We should review our roles within the context of the latest lockdown and ensure that where any close contact may be required that safety precautions, to protect both the person supported and the volunteer, are being met. We must also brief our volunteers on how to stay safe while volunteering. Find out more in our latest advisory article for volunteers here.

Saying all that, I'm sure this doesn't really come as new information to most of us. Over the past ten months, Leaders of Volunteers and their teams have adapted and changed to continue to support vulnerable people and local causes in so many ways. New volunteers have come forward and existing volunteers have adapted to new ways of supporting services. The whole of the voluntary sector’s response to Coronavirus has been amazing.

I am delighted that Nottingham has an experienced and skilled network of Leaders of Volunteers. I admire the ways that you have taken the pandemic in your stride. You have coped and adapted quickly to the ways that your roles have changed, how your recruitment and training has moved online, and how you have been affected by the fast-changing rules and restrictions.  I have been particularly impressed at the way that Leaders of Volunteers who have changed jobs or who have started working in this sector in the last ten months have tackled these challenges too.

 

NCVS changes to support for Leaders of Volunteers

Promoting your volunteering opportunities

The way that the NCVS Volunteer Centre works has changed to reflect your needs over the past year. Our support is still here, but like many, we have moved to a remote model of working, providing the majority of our support online, over the phone and via email. 

Our website provides information about the latest volunteering opportunities in Nottingham and I know that many of you will have received emails from potential volunteers through the site. We are currently working with organisations to update, adapt or remove their opportunities within the context of the latest lockdown.

If you wish to make changes to your existing volunteering opportunity on our website, have new ones to add, or would like to promote your opportunity through our website for the first time, please get in touch with me.

Training for Leaders of Volunteers

All NCVS training is now being delivered online, and in doing so, we've been able to expand on our offering. We're currently running five different webinars aimed at Leaders of Volunteers, view all our available training opportunities here. We will be releasing new dates for these sessions soon.

Our support remains available long after you've attended our training. We're always on-hand to provide one-to-one support to Leaders of Volunteers that goes beyond advice and includes access to sample policies, support and supervision templates, good practice checklists, research studies, and much more.

Our support is not just available to those who have undertaken our training - it's available to anyone with an interest in leading volunteers. You can access this support in a number of ways:

  • By filling out our online request support form
  • By contacting me, Dave Thomas, on the contact details above

If you’re not sure what support you might need, let’s just have a chat to see how we might be able to help.

Join our Leaders of Volunteers Network

Whether you are an old hand or a newbie, leading volunteers can sometimes feel a bit lonely. That’s why we would encourage you to join over 300 of us in the Nottingham Leaders of Volunteers Network (LoVN). It’s free to join and to attend our (online) meetings.

The network meets quarterly and our next session will be on Wednesday 10 February 2021, from 10am-12 noon. This session will explore how your support can be improved in the new world of volunteering and will include an opportunity for you to shape the training and support offered to Leaders of Volunteers in Nottingham during and beyond the Coronavirus pandemic.

To ensure you receive the Zoom joining instructions, please register your attendance here.

Looking to the future

Whatever the future holds, we know that Nottingham’s Leaders of Volunteers will be there to respond and the NCVS Volunteer Centre will be with you every step of the way.

 

Category: 
Volunteering
Date Posted: 
Friday, 8 January, 2021

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