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INCLUSIVE VOLUNTEERING – IMPROVING ENGAGEMENT FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH HISTORIC LOW PARTICIPATION RATES

INCLUSIVE VOLUNTEERING – IMPROVING ENGAGEMENT 
FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH HISTORIC
LOW PARTICIPATION RATES
BY LORRAINE TONNER, Volunteer & Citizenship Manager, Glasgow Life

Glasgow’s Volunteering Strategy 2019- 24, endorsed by Glasgow’s Community Planning Partnership and accompanying action plan highlights strategic objectives to increase participation rates among individuals who often experience barriers to volunteer.

Further drawing upon Volunteer Scotland’ State of our health and wellbeing findings demonstrating the benefits of volunteering i.e.  improved mental health, improved physical health, reduced social isolation and loneliness and improved life expectancy and adopting a collaborative approach as described in ‘Volunteer for All: Our National Framework’ a small group was formed with representatives from Glasgow Life, Volunteer Glasgow, Community Justice Glasgow, Scottish Refugee Council and Glasgow Disability Alliance to help organisations prepare for engagement with individuals with historic low participation rates and facilitate a networking opportunity to bringing  individuals and organisations together.

Informed by the results of a training needs analysis survey with Volunteer Involving Organisations (VIOs), the common challenges faced by organisations were identified. Hosted by Glasgow Life and Volunteer Glasgow the group delivered an “Inclusive Volunteering” event to over 30 Volunteer Involving Organisations (VIOs) in January 2020. The day included; Strategic Context by Volunteer Glasgow,  Organisation Case Study by Shelter Scotland, insight to the work of  National Inclusion Group and opportunity to attend two workshops;

  • Inclusive recruitment, focus on young people
  • Inclusive recruitment, focus on criminal justice system
  • Inclusive recruitment, focus on refugees and asylum seekers
  • Inclusive recruitment, focus on those with additional support needs

“Both workshops were great, particularly recruiting with criminal convictions one” Attendee

“I will be more proactive in approaching harder to reach groups {recruitment}” Attendee

“ Workshop with Dughall from Apply with Conviction– excellent knowledge and he was really engaging, I will be going back to management and look at our recruitment process after hearing from Shelter” Attendee

84 % attendees rated it as excellent and there was a strong appetite to repeat this style of event in the post event survey.

Building on the success of the day VIOs were invited to host a stand and put learning into practise at a joint volunteer recruitment event in early February 2020.  The event was attended by over 100 individuals and was advertised widely with some targeted marketing to reach those often left out of the volunteering opportunity.  Plans are in place to evolve the Inclusive Volunteering focus across Glasgow.

CLICK HERE TO READ –  Making your volunteering more inclusive – WHY BOTHER?

CLICK HERE TO READ – Making your volunteering more inclusive – TOP TIPS             

CLICK HERE TO SEE A RIPPLE EFFECT VIDEO – TAM’S STORY – A CRIMAL JUSTICE LIVED EXPERIENCE VOICE – IMPROVED OUTCOMES FROM VOLUNTEERING

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