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					Volunteer Now's Suggested Content for the Volunteering Strategy Action Plan - August 2011

Introduction
Volunteer Now welcomes the opportunity to contribute to the Action Plan for the Volunteer Strategy. We have consulted with our members over the
last few weeks in relation to the information enclosed. We received nine written responses from statutory and voluntary organisations which involve
volunteers. The responses were very supportive of the content of the Action Plan proposed by Volunteer Now and in some cases suggested minor
changes which have been incorporated into the document below. A number made comments in relation to the transparency of the process of
developing and implementing the Action Plan and the need to ensure a wide range of stakeholders are involved. In addition there was a clear view
that adequate resources need to be found to deliver the strategy. Volunteer Now believes it is well positioned to deliver on substantial portions of the
Action Plan, either on its own or as a member of a partnership with other organisations.
Objective 1:Volunteering Recognising the Value and Promoting the Benefits

     Priority                              Actions                                        Timeframe         Key Performance          Measurement
                                                                                                            Indicators               Options
                                         Creating opportunities for public figures,   By March 2017
                                         government and volunteer involving
                                         organisations to recognise the achievement
                                    1.1a of volunteers and the impact they are making
                                         eg award schmes, thankyou events, annual
                                         volunteer day, Volunteers' Week etc.
                                                                                                            An increased             It's All About
     Build public recognition
 1.1                                                                                      By March 2017     recognition of the value Time/Baseline
     for volunteering                    Government to commission a regional and
                                                                                                            of volunteering          survey
                                         local media campaign to underpin the
                                         implementation of the strategy and to
                                    1.1b communicate the benefits of volunteeering
                                         such as personal development, satisfaction,
                                         career development, health and wellbeing
                                         etc..
                                         Government will work with partner                By March 2013
                                         organisations to develop and implement a
                                    1.2a volunteer recruitment campaign. Eg by
                                         developing and promoting new roles and
                                         linking in with the media campaign.
                                   Development of the existing Northern Ireland Throughout the
                                   wide volunteering database and associated lifetime of the
                                                                                Srategy
                                   website ( Volunteernow.co.uk) to provide the
                              1.2b key information point for volunteering
                                   opportunities including the use of new
                                   technology such as Facebook and Twitter.

                                   Provide and maintain an easily accessible        Throughout the
                                   range of comprehensive volunteering              lifetime of the
                                                                                    Srategy
                              1.2c information in a variety of formats. Eg
                                   languages other than English, audio, large
                                   print or braille
                                                                                                      An increase in the
                                   Explore opportunities at a Government and By March 2013
                                                                                                      numbers of people
                                   community level to develop volunteering in
                                                                                                      volunteering
                                   border areas and volunteering on an island                                              It's All About
                              1.2d wide basis. Eg providing recognition for
                                                                                                                           Time/Individual
                                   young volunteers in an consistent way across                                            contract
1.2 Recruit more volunteers        Ireland.                                                                                Targets/Census
                                   Regional, cultural and sporting events       By March 2013                              Question/ cross
                                   involving and recognising volunteers eg                                                 border activity
                                   London Olympic and Paralympic Games,
                              1.2e World Fire and Police Games, City of Culture
                                   developing and implementing volunteering
                                   strategies to maximise the involvement of
                                   volunteers.
                                     Build volunteer management skills in the faith By March 2014
                                     based sector to increase volunteer
                              1.2f   recruitment and retention. Eg providing good
                                     practice materials or appropriate training.
                                     Promote and encourage Employer Supported Throughout the
                                     Volunteering within Government and across lifetime of the
                                                                                    Srategy
                                     the public sector including local government
                                     and make it easy for employers of all sizes to                An increase in the level
                                1.2g engage in Employer Supported Volunteering                     of Employer Supported
                                     eg provide information, engage with                           Volunteering
                                     employers, develop and promote suitable
                                     opportunities via the Volunteer Now website.

    Measure the impact of       1.3a Identify appropriate and consistent methods   By March 2013   An increased
    volunteer involvement on         of measuring the impact of volunteering                       recognition of the value
    volunteers, individuals,         including potential health benefits eg the                    of volunteering          Its All About
1.3                                  Volunteer Impact Assessment Toolkit or the
    organisations and society                                                                                               Time/MLA survey
                                     Volunteer Investment and Value Audit.

                                     Government creates a mechanism for cross      By March 2013
                                     checking policy and legislation to mitigate
                                1.4a negative impacts on volunteering. Eg
                                     Welfare to Work, vehicle Licencing etc
                                 Government to tackle the barriers, real and By March 2013
    Seek to protect
                                 perceived, which may prevent people on
    volunteering from the   1.4b benefits from volunteering.                                       An increased
                                                                                                                            Its All About
1.4 unintended consequences                                                                        recognition of the value
                                                                                                                            Time/MLA survey
    of legislation and                                                                             of volunteering
    Government policy.           While ensuring the protection of children and By March 2013
                                 vulnerable adults, explore ways to mitigate
                                 any negative impact of policy/legislation on
                            1.4c
                                 the recruitment of volunteers. Eg provision of
                                 good practice information, training and
                                 support.
Objective 2: Volunteering: Enhancing Accessibility and Diversity




     Priority                            Actions                                        Timeframe         Key Performance         Measurement
                                                                                                          Indicators              Options
                                        Enable children and young people to become Throughout the
                                        involved in volunteering and help them        lifetime of the
                                                                                      Srategy
                                        develop skills and gain experience through
                                   2.1a their voluntary activity. Eg developing roles
                                        appropriate for under 18 year olds, promotion
                                        of Millennium Volunteers.

                                        Support volunteer involving organisations to Throughout the
                                        develop practices that enable them to involve lifetime of the
                                                                                      Srategy
                                        a diverse range of volunteers and offer a
                                   2.1b welcoming environment to everyone. Eg via
                                        training and pilot programmes promoting
     Ensure that everyone has           involvement and targeting specific groups.
                                                                                                          A more diverse
     an opportunity to volunteer
                                                                                                          volunteering population It's All about
 2.1 and that volunteering is           Work across government to review              By March 2013
                                                                                                          more reflective of our Time/Census
     representative of the              mechanisms to encourage people with
                                                                                                          society
     diversity of the community         disabilities to become involved in
                                   2.1c volunteering and to provide financial support
                                        for reasonable adjustments where required.
                                        Eg sign language, access, etc.

                                        Work across Government, the volunteering By March 2013
                                        infrastructure and the insurance industry to
                                   2.1d limit the potential for insurance to be a barrier
                                        to volunteering.

                                        Promote and enable volunteering among           Throughout the
                                                                                        lifetime of the
                                   2.1e older people and other under represented        Srategy
                                        groups. Eg specific targeted campaigns
Objective 3: Improving the Experience



       Priority                         Actions                                       Timeframe        Key Performance           Measurement
                                                                                                       Indicators                Options
                                     Encourage and support volunteer managers Throughout the
                                     and volunteer involving organisations to    lifetime of the
                                                                                                       An increase in the
                                                                                 Srategy
                                     improve their volunteer management practice                       number of volunteer
                                     and gain relevant accreditation. Eg bursary                       managers, paid and
                                3.1a schemes to enable access to accreditation
                                                                                                       unpaid, with accredited
                                     and to improve standards of practice.                             qualifications in
                                                                                                       volunteer management

                                     Encourage and support the development of Throughout the           An increase in the
                                     volunteering opportunities that are attractive, lifetime of the   number, range and
                                                                                     Srategy
                                3.1b varied, and flexible and meet the needs of                        accessibility of
                                     individuals and organisations. Eg information                     volunteering              EMOV
                                     sessions, good practice guides.                                   opportunities             graduates/IIV
                                                                                                                                 Holders/Training
       Improve volunteer             Encourage funders, including local             By March 2013
 3.1                                                                                                                             records/Website
       management practice           authorities, where appropriate, to ensure the
                                                                                                                                 stats/contract
                                     quality of volunteer involvement and                              An increase in the
                                                                                                                                 targets/monitoring
                                     management is of an effective standard                            number of
                                                                                                                                 returns
                                3.1c when considering funding an organisation or                       organisations meeting
                                     awarding a contract where volunteers play a                       quality standards in
                                     significant part in delivering services. Eg                       volunteer management
                                     briefing for funders, good practice checklist.

                                     Ensure that small volunteer led organisations Throughout the
                                     have an opportunity to build their skills and lifetime of the     An increase in the
                                                                                   Srategy             number, range and
                                     capacity to involve volunteers. Eg by
                                3.1d providing training such as Volunteer Now's                        accessibility of
                                     When Everyone is a Volunteer.                                     volunteering
                                                                                                       opportunities
                                   Promote and support family volunteering         By March 2013
                                   opportunities that enable families to volunteer
                                   as a group to encourage volunteering from
                              3.2a an early age. Eg good practice guide, NI
                                   wide programme of small grants, targeted
                                   summer promotional campaign.

                                   Promote and support the development of          By March 2013
                                   “turn up, take part” volunteering opportunities
                                   that provide immediate opportunities for                        An increase in the
                              3.2b people to volunteer. Eg Action Days, one off                                         Website
    Increase the number and                                                                        number, range and
                                                                                                                        stats/contract
3.2 quality of volunteering        opportunities, regular drop in volunteer                        accessibility of
                                                                                                                        targets/monitoring
    opportunities                  sessions.                                                       volunteering
                                                                                                                        returns
                                                                                                   opportunities
                                   Utilise Employer Supported Volunteering to By March 2016
                                   develop and strengthen management
                              3.2c committees. Eg governance opportunites on
                                   Volunteer Now website, training for boards,
                                   skills match of individuals with groups.
                                   Programme of support for new ways of            By March 2013
                                   volunteering eg online opportunities, micro
                              3.2d volunteering, timebanking etc.
                                     Support volunteers involved in management By March 2016
                                     committees to enhance their skills and
                                     knowledge base and improve their volunteer
                                     experience. Eg DIYCommittee Guide, online
                                3.3a resource for voluntary management
                                     committees, Use of the Code of Governance
                                     and the associated healthcheck.

                                     Encourage and support the development of By March 2016
    Encourage and support the        skills by volunteers and, as appropriate, the                 An increased             Training
3.3 development of skills by         achievement of recognised qualifications that                 recognition of the value records/Careers
    volunteers                       are beneficial to carrying out their voluntary                of volunteering          Guidance
                                3.3b
                                     activities. Eg the development of an online
                                     signposting directory of training and
                                     accreditation appropriate for specific roles.

                                     Enable careers information in schools to      By March 2013
                                     present volunteering as an option for gaining
                                3.3c skills and experience. Eg leaflet and
                                     information campaign for careers teachers

                                    Encourage the development of volunteering By March 2016
                                    within central and local Government and
                                    across the public sector as a means of
                                    involving people in supporting the delivery of                 An increase in the
                                    services for the public. Eg. support for public                number, range and
    Extend volunteering in the
3.4                            3.4a sector bodies to develop policy and                            accessibility of       Website stats
    public sector
                                    appropriate roles, promotion of opportunities                  volunteering
                                    via the Volunter Now website, work with                        opportunities
                                    unions to agree volunteering charter.
Objective 4: Supporting and Strengthening the Infrastructure
     Priority                          Actions                                       Timeframe       Key Performance        Measurement
                                                                                                     Indicators             Options
                                       Implement an integrated regional and local    By April 2012   An increase in the
                                       infrastructure which provides appropriate                     numbers of people
                                       services to support volunteer involvement                     volunteering.
                                       across Northern Ireland and can effectively                   An increase in the
                                       contribute to the delivery of the Strategy.                   number of
                                                                                                     organisations meeting
                                                                                                     quality standards in
     Ensure the infrastructure                                                                       volunteer               Contract
 4.1 provides effective support 4.1a                                                                 management.             Targets/Monitoring
     to volunteering                                                                                 An increase in the      Returns
                                                                                                     number of volunteer
                                                                                                     managers, paid and
                                                                                                     unpaid, with accredited
                                                                                                     qualifications in
                                                                                                     volunteer
                                                                                                     management.
Objective 5: Delivering the Strategy

     Priority                            Actions                                          Timeframe         Key Performance          Measurement
                                                                                                            Indicators               Options
                                        Continue to have a small grants programme         Throughout the
                                   5.1a to support local volunteer involvement.           lifetime of the
                                                                                          Srategy

                                        Review existing funding structures within the Throughout the
                                        Department for Social Development to create lifetime of the
     Create a comprehensive                                                            Srategy
                                        a comprehensive investment programme to                             Effective delivery of the Monitoring
 5.1 investment programme to            deliver the Strategy and underpin the future                        Strategy                  Information
     deliver the Strategy.
                                   5.1b of volunteering in Northern Ireland. Build
                                        cross departmental support for the delivery of
                                        the strategy. Ensure funding is adequate for
                                        delivery of the strategy.

                                       Establish a monitoring group, with                 Throughout the
                                       representation at senior levels from across        lifetime of the
                                                                                          Srategy
                                       central and local Government, the voluntary
                                       and community, statutory and private sectors
                                  5.2a to monitor and report on the implementation
                                       of the Strategy. Ensure transparancy and
                                       accountability regarding the activities of this
                                       group, including annual reports to the NI
                                       Executive.
                                       Undertake an evaluation of the Strategy            By March 2016
                                       throughout it’s lifetime with annual reviews
                                  5.2b and recommendations as well as a final
                                       report and recommendations after the end of
                                       the Strategy period.
                                       Use It's All About Time as a framework to          By March 2016
                                                                                                                                      Monitoring
                                       establish a baseline survey for the start of the
     Deliver strategy in an                                                                                                           Information/Annual
                                       strategy and update at the end of five years.
     effective, accountable way 5.2c                                                                        Effective delivery of the Reports/It's All
 5.2                                   Include information about volunteering levels
     reflecting its cross cutting                                                                           Strategy                  About
                                       at council and regional levels.
     nature                                                                                                                           Time/Evaluation
                                                                                                                                      Report
      effective, accountable way                                                                             Effective delivery of the Reports/It's All
5.2
      reflecting its cross cutting                                                                           Strategy                  About
      nature                                                                                                                           Time/Evaluation
                                          Encourage volunteers and volunteer             By March 2016                                 Report
                                          involving organisations to get involved and
                                          remain involved in delivering the Strategy. Eg
                                     5.2d
                                          provide regular information about progress
                                          and opportunities for public engagement.

                                          Develop mechanisms to ensure that the          By September 2012
                                          cross cutting nature of volunteering is
                                     5.2e reflected in close working between
                                          Government departments to deliver the
                                          Strategy.
                                          Involve public bodies such as health trusts, By March 2016
                                          local councils, and education bodies in
                                     5.2f
                                          endorsing Strategy and developing their own
                                          internal action plans.
                                          Government identifies a Volunteering         By March 2012         An increased
      Identify a volunteering                                                                                                         Reports from
5.3                                  5.3a Champion in partnership with volunteers and                        recognition of the value
      champion                                                                                                                        Champion
                                          the wider sector.                                                  of volunteering

				
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posted:11/16/2011
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