We hope you’re enjoying your summer. There’s certainly plenty of events going on over these summer months – and you’ll probably bump into a member of our IGNITE team or BLB volunteers at lots of them! We’ve got a bit more in the way of national and local news headlines this week (such as the publication of the Civil Society Strategy from the Government) as well as news that the Volunteer Awards organised by West Marsh Development Trust are once again open for nominations. Read on for this week’s news…
Dates for your diary
Just over 50 per cent of people who don’t volunteer say it is because of work commitments, while 37 per cent say they have “other things” to do with their spare time, according to the latest Community Life Survey.
The annual survey, carried out by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, was published recently. It says that overall volunteering levels have remained broadly the same as last year. Read the news headlines around this here.
NCVO have done a great initial analysis of the report (here) including headlines that:
Overall levels of volunteering are stable
25 to 34-year olds are the least likely to volunteer
Volunteering rates are higher in rural and less deprived areas
‘Wanting to do good’ remains the most important reason to volunteer
This makes interesting reading but how does it reflect on what we find in our own volunteering hosting experiences? We’ll be discussing this at our next meeting of the Volunteer Managers Network (VMN) in September.
VANEL and Volunteering
We’re proud of the progress our Blue Lights Brigade (BLB) programme is making and the impact the volunteers connected to BLB are already having. And the High Sheriff and Tribune Trust have also been impressed with progress. You can read the story behind the extra funding we’ve just been awarded from the Tribune Trust on our website here. It allows us to grow the Safe and Well Checks our BLB volunteers are carrying out across Northern Lincolnshire supporting Humberside Fire and Rescue. More about BLB here.
If you have contact with people looking for volunteering opportunities then don’t forget to check out our up to date opportunities list on the VANEL website here.
They’re back! The Volunteer Awards organised by West Marsh Development Trust are back for 2018 after the success of previous years. The awards themselves are now open for nominations until 31st October 2018 (5pm) and after judging there will be a Community Volunteers’ Night to be held on Thursday 22nd November 2018 at 7.30 pm at CueWorld Grimsby. D.F.D.S are once again providing sponsorship.
Categories for nominations this year are:
Fundraiser of the Year 2018
Junior Award (up to 25 years old)
Senior Award (26 years+)
Sports Volunteer Award
Dance/Art/Music Volunteer Award
Team Group Award
Long Service Award (10 years+)
VANEL is collecting nominations on behalf of WMDT and an independent panel of judges will make the decisions! All the details of the awards are on the VANEL website here. The nomination form can be downloaded here along with a detailed description of each category here. Questions about the awards evening or the awards themselves can be directed to West Marsh Development Trust via firstname.lastname@example.org. Get those nomination forms in!
An introduction to one of our more recent new member organisations – the British Dragonfly Society. The British Dragonfly Society (BDS) is a national registered charity with three key aims: to carry out and support research on dragonflies, to conserve dragonflies and to engage the public with dragonflies and their wetland habitats. They have a small number of staff, 1600+ members across the UK, a visitor centre in Cambridgeshire, have Sir David Attenborough as their Patron, do research, carry out conservations and engage with and educate the public. Their work makes use of the support of volunteers and they have connected to VANEL in order to help develop their volunteering offer and experiences. Their website is here where you can read all about their work and you can find out about volunteering with them here. They are starting up new projects and have a strong focus on citizen science and are trying to attract a younger audience to the study of dragonflies. Visit their website if you’d like to explore the world of dragonflies further.
A reminder from HealthWatch North East Lincolnshire that you can now meet them at one of their many, regular stand locations across Grimsby. Visit their events page on the website here to see where and when they are so you can meet them.
Skip It! is a three month pilot project from NELC that gives people the chance to dispose of unwanted household items and learn more about how the council is working hard to create a cleaner, greener North East Lincolnshire. During August, September and October there will be venues with skips and facilities to dispose of waste across the borough. Read an article here with all the information as well as dates and venues or visit the main Skip It! website here.
North East Lincolnshire Council are consulting on a Social Value policy. Social Value requires commissioners, those who plan and buy local services, to think about how they achieve their goals in a more joined up way. Rather than thinking about services in isolation or in the short term, this new policy requires commissioners to consider long term costs, sustainability and how including Social Value outcomes can possibly reduce pressures and make the most of opportunities in other areas.
The first draft of this policy is now out for consultation and you can provide your feedback. If your organisation connects with council procurement at any part of the supply chain then you, your board and management should take the time to read, review and feedback on the policy. Already there has been a lot of feedback provided from the voluntary sector back to NELC and this policy will need reflect this. So please take the time to provide your feedback.
The policy is here, and the online feedback is here. There is also a workshop in September where stakeholders can have their say. Read our article here for further information and for details about the workshop.
The Grimsby Town Centre consultation closes Tuesday 14th August. This is an opportunity to give your views on Grimsby town centre including why you visit, how you travel and what would encourage you to visit more. The survey is on the NELC website here.
The government has this week published its Civil Society Strategy, promising that it will “build stronger communities by bringing together businesses, charities and the public sector”.
Tracey Crouch, minister for sport and civil society, said: “Civil society is the bedrock of our communities. It is made up of the volunteers, youth workers, charities and innovative businesses that work to improve lives and make areas better for all.
“Our strategy builds on this spirit of common good to help create a country that works for everyone. I want people, organisations and businesses to feel inspired to get involved and make a difference.
“Through collaboration, we will unlock the huge potential of this incredible sector, help it grow, support the next generation and create a fairer society.”
Read about the launch of the Strategy here. And you can download the .pdf of the strategy itself here.
NCVO have an immediate assessment of the strategy here explaining the nuts and bolts.
The civil society strategy aims to create ‘thriving communities’ through strengthening ‘five foundations of social value’. These are: People, Places, The Social Sector, The Private Sector and The Public Sector.
Key announcements include plans to unlock £20m from dormant charitable accounts and distribute it to community trusts and commitments to support corporate social responsibility, improve the take-up of the Social Value Act, and renewed commitments to grants and the principles of the Compact.
Feedback from NCVO is that this is an encouraging start but implementation will be key. Read their initial feedback here. A wide range of initial feedback from various bodies and charities can be read here. There will be much more feedback and response from the Sector over the coming weeks and months, but take this opportunity now to get yourself up to speed on what the report contains.
Round 2 of the Crime Reduction Fund (CRF) is now open. The closing date is 6th September 2018. This grant funding from the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) can support projects with up to £10k for shorter projects and up to £50k for longer term initiatives. Projects need to be able to contribute to one of the overarching aims from the PCC and to tackle on the the indicators from the NEL Community Safety Partnership objectives. All the details of this and how to apply can be found here. VANEL is administering the funding so if you’re interested in applying make sure you read all the guidance and then get in touch with Richard at VANEL for an initial discussion about your project.
Beach Hut No 9 on Marine Embankment in Cleethorpes continues to be available to provide a place for individuals, families and groups to enjoy the wonderful weather over the summer. It’s free for community groups to use and only small charges apply for others (and a deposit is required for the key). Use it as a base to have some fun in the sun! All the information is here and get in touch with Liz at VANEL to make a booking.