NCVO has cancelled all of its planned activity for Volunteers’ Week 2020 to focus its resources on the coronavirus response.
The week takes place in early June and is an annual celebration of the work volunteers do. It was established in 1984.
NCVO said that it is focusing its resources entirely on the Covid-19 pandemic, and therefore has taken the decision to withdraw involvement in the week.
This means that the events listings and the "stories from the week" section on volunteersweek.org, which is run by NCVO, will be closed to new content. Existing resources will remain available but will not be updated for this year.
Karl Wilding, chief executive of NCVO, said: “We have all been struck by the outpouring of generosity among people looking to give their time in the face of the coronavirus. It is a true reminder of the strength of the human spirit.
“Like most charities, our resources are now focused entirely on providing support through the immediate crisis. Even if it felt the right time to mark Volunteers’ Week, the practical difficulties would make it extremely challenging.
“I know some will still want to continue with what plans they can for the week, and I understand that. For those that are, I would suggest exercising some caution in their messaging and consider how it may be received – the usual celebratory tone may not be right this year.
“But I hope that we all nevertheless take a moment to reflect on the enormous contribution that volunteers are making today and every day, and to recognise the volunteers in our organisations for what they are doing at this most difficult time.”
Pro Bono Economics launches ‘fast-track’ volunteer programme
A scheme has been launched to match charities to economists volunteering their skills to help tackle the effects of the virus.
Pro Bono Economics, a charity that uses economics to support wellbeing in the UK, has launched the fast-track service. The service is designed to provide additional, emergency support via access to practical expertise.
The volunteers will supply light-touch or ad hoc data support, undertaking tasks such as spreadsheet support, data analysis and data visualisation.
Matt Whittaker, chief executive of Pro Bono Economics, said: “We want to ensure that no civil society organisation – whether it’s a well-established charity or a newly-forming volunteer group – finds itself stuck simply because it can’t access the right sort of data expertise.”
The charity now has more than 260 economists able to provide support for charities.