Share

Volunteer Centre network 'will fragment' under council cuts

Sukhvinder Kaur-Stubbs, chair, Volunteering England
News

Volunteer Centre network 'will fragment' under council cuts

Fundraising | Niki May Young | 2 May 2012

England's network of volunteer centres is at risk of "fragmentation" because of an average 12 per cent local authority funding cut, warns Justin Davis Smith.

Davis Smith, chief executive of Volunteering England, warned that the sector was at risk of losing expertise and know-how after the annual return for volunteer centres, conducted by the Institute for Volunteering Research, showed that local government funding across the network declined on average by 12 per cent between 2009/10 and 2010/11.

Face-to-face contact with volunteering centres is at particular risk, says Volunteering England chair Sukhvinder Kaur-Stubbs (pictured), who said: "We recognise the role of new technologies in delivering a modern volunteering offer, but this is by no means a replacement for the face-to-face contact and personal guidance that is integral to supporting people into volunteering. It is this personal service that enables those who most need help to make the transition into employment, training and further education.”

Volunteering England has learned of five volunteer centres losing core funding in the annual return data, with a total of around £300,000 lost to these centres, averaging about £60,000 each.

Last week Voluntary Action Islington urged Islington Council to "think again" on plans that would mean the end of council support for its services, totalling £55,000 annually. Islington Council has proposed to develop volunteering through an organisation called the Isedon Partnership, a pioneer in central government's 'free schools' initiative, rather than through the volunteer centre.

"The Volunteer Centre in Islington has been accredited as meeting national standards in work with volunteers. It helps thousands of local people to take part in volunteering. Over 500 local organisations promote volunteering opportunities through the centre and many local people help to run the centre.

"We had put forward proposals, with partners, to increase the reach of the centre and increase the number of local people recruited and placed as volunteers," lamented Mike Sherriff, the centre's chief executive.

Richmond Volunteer Centre too lost £30,000 of annual funding from the London Borough of Richmond on Thames.

Volunteering England advised that the centres which most recently lost their funding have been accredited by the organisation as obtaining an "excellent standard across the six core functions": brokerage, marketing, good practice development, developing volunteer opportunities, policy response and campaigning and strategic development of volunteering.

As yet, no volunteer centre has been forced to close, a spokesman for Volunteering England advised, but the organisation will be talking to government ministers about how it can help improve the situation for the centres.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments

[Cancel] | Reply to:

Close »

Community Standards

The civilsociety.co.uk community and comments board is intended as a platform for informed and civilised debate.

We hope to encourage a broad range of views, however, there are standards that we expect commentators to uphold. We reserve the right to delete or amend any comments that do not adhere to these standards.

We welcome:

  • Robust but respectful debate
  • Strongly held opinions
  • Intelligent relevant discussion
  • The sharing of relevant experiences
  • New participants

We will not publish:

  • Rude, threatening, offensive, obscene or abusive language, or links to such material
  • Links to commercial organisations or spam postings. The comments board is not an advertising platform
  • The posting of contact details for yourself or others
  • Comments intended for malicious purpose or mindless abuse
  • Comments purporting to be from another person or organisation under false pretences
  • Gratuitous criticism, commentary or self-promotion
  • Any material which breaches copyright or privacy laws, or could be considered libellous
  • The use of the comments board for the pursuit or extension of personal disputes

Be aware:

  • Views expressed on the comments board are left at users’ discretion and are in no way views held or supported by Civil Society Media
  • Comments left by others may not be accurate, do not rely on them as fact
  • You may be misunderstood - sarcasm and humour can easily be taken out of context, try to be clear

Please:

  • Enjoy the opportunity to express your opinion and respect the right of others to express theirs
  • Confine your remarks to issues rather than personalities

Together we can keep our community a polite, respectful and intelligent platform for discussion.

Free eNews

Big Society Network parent charity applies to wind itself up

20 Aug 2014

Society Network Foundation, the charitable parent of Big Society Network, has applied to Companies House...

Adoption charity airs concerns about Adoption Support Fund detail

20 Aug 2014

Fostering and adoption charity Tact expressed concerns today over the implementation of the government’s...

Government extends VAT rebate scheme for museums

18 Aug 2014

The government has extended its museums VAT rebate scheme to two more organisations – the V&A Museum...

Big Society Network parent charity applies to wind itself up

20 Aug 2014

Society Network Foundation, the charitable parent of Big Society Network, has applied to Companies House...

ShelterBox founder charged with fraud

20 Aug 2014

The founder and former chief executive of aid charity ShelterBox has been charged with three counts of...

Pallotta plans three-day march in US to scale up Charity Defense Council

19 Aug 2014

Dan Pallotta, the US fundraiser and charity sector activist, is organising a three-day march in the States...

Smart wristbands aim to increase charity giving

20 Aug 2014

A new wristband that will enable people to make faster donations with just a tap of a smartphone, is...

National Trust to develop new website in £2m digital upgrade

15 Aug 2014

The National Trust has budgeted £2m to update its digital services, including a new website and mobile...

RNLI to accept digital currency donations

1 Aug 2014

RNLI has become the first major UK charity to accept donations in the digital currency, Bitcoin, in a...

Join the discussion

Twitter button

@CSFundraising