Active Volunteering Essex is a project to support individuals with a learning disability who want to volunteer, but feel anxious about volunteering completely independently.
The Assisted Gardening Scheme offers affordable help to tenants struggling to manage their gardens, creating manageable spaces for people to enjoy and feel safe in.
Befriending Matters will address loneliness, isolation and poor health and wellbeing in North East London by matching vulnerable older people with volunteer befrienders to provide support and improve quality of life.
Behind Every Kick is a project run across London and Hertfordshire, supported by a wide range of partners, including ourselves offering competitive sport coaching and support to young people in the community.
Choices offers independent living support to a wide range of people, including people with disabilities and learning difficulties, older people and families.
Involving young people in supporting the health and care of others is proven to have positive benefits to patients, the community and young volunteers.
Our Employee Volunteering team has over 24 years’ experience of providing tailor-made service support to employers developing their own corporate volunteering and business volunteering programmes.
Full-time volunteering is a unique opportunity for people aged between 18 and 35 to undertake the challenge of living away from home for 6-12 months.
Futures East is a project focused on enabling young people between the ages of 16-25, who have learning disabilities, on the autism spectrum or have additional support needs, to take part in exciting and worthwhile voluntary roles within their local communities of Hackney and the surrounding Boroughs.
The FUTURES project enables young people with additional support needs to access communities and realise their potential through the support of community and peer volunteers.
Get Out Get Active (GOGA) is a UK wide programme, funded by Spirit of 2012 that aims to encourage disabled and non-disabled people to take part in and enjoy activity together.
Give More Get More was a project that aimed to support young disabled people transition from full time education to the next stage in their life through support from an older volunteer and a person-centred plan.
Grandmentors is an innovative mentoring project pairing volunteers aged 50 and over with young care leavers to empower them to achieve their full potential.
Headspace is a service which helps people make positive changes to their lives. Our programmes enable participants to set meaningful, realistic goals.
Heather’s Hair is an RSVP project that creates hairpieces and weaves for people experiencing hair loss due to chemotherapy or other reasons.
The Hounslow Allies project recruits, trains and supports adults from the local community to become allies (Independent Visitors) to looked after children and young people.
Our young disabled peoples’ work shadowing programme matches young disabled people with businesses and individuals who mirror the young person’s aspirations.
KEO recruits and trains volunteers to empower families with young children to take more of an active role in their child’s education.
Learning for Life Together is an intergenerational oral history and social action project, linking older people (aged 50+) with a class of young people at a school near Dundry Slopes in Bristol.
Learning Matters was a study programme for 16-18 year olds, specifically tailored to those who don’t speak English as their first language.
Lifelines project in Brighton brings together people aged 50+ both as volunteers running activities and as participants in the wide range of volunteer-run activities.
Norfolk Knitters and Stitchers provide support to charities at home and abroad with hand knitted items as well as creating a community & friendship for isolated individuals.
One Small Step Befriending Project ran from 2016 - 2018, and with the power of volunteers, aimed to tackle isolation suffered by hundreds of isolated adults over 50 in the Stockton area.
Perspectives aims to give marginalised adults the chance to be seen, heard, included and participate in their community.
Positive Futures London is a youth-led programme offering fantastic volunteering opportunities for young people aged between 13 and 25 years old as volunteers or leaders.
Driving schemes are a lifeline to some older and more vulnerable people living in the UK who may not be able to get around easily.
Our knitting groups, are growing increasingly popular with over 5,000 social action knitters across the UK producing in excess of 50 big bin-bags worth of knitted goods per month
Our Retired and Senior Volunteer Programmes (RSVP) offer volunteering in local schools across the UK, for people aged 50+, where they can support pupils with with reading, maths or specialized subjects.
RSVP West is a key region for our RSVP (Retired and Senior Volunteer Programme) and covers Bristol, North Somerset, South Gloucestershire, Bath & North East Somerset.
Sporting Chance invites older men in the North East to join in activities and exercise groups from walking football to arm chair exercise, Aquasize to reminiscence sessions.
Vocal is a project that provides personalised supported volunteering opportunities for individuals with a learning disability.
Volunteer Centre Newcastle acts as a connector between people and communities with a database of opportunities across the city.
Volunteers Supporting Families projects recruit, train and match volunteers to mentor and support families with complex needs, where children are at risk of harm or neglect.
Grandmentors is an innovative project that sees older volunteers use their lifetime of skills and experience to support vulnerable young people leaving the care system. This opportunity is for Grandmentors Wiltshire.
Kasim is a mentor on our Employee Volunteering e-mentoring programme. He was matched with a year 11 student from the Co-op Academy of Failsworth and they exchanged emails over our secure server for 10 months.
Maria, 32 from London, works in education as a Sports Premium Lead, supporting primary schools in their development and provision of physical activity, health and school games. She explains how her career inspired her to become a volunteer on the Volunteers Supporting Families project.
Lea volunteers in a school with children with disabilities, and she loves it. She feels she has grown in confidence and has developed her personality, getting to know her strengths and her flaws.
Sandy spent a year as a full-time volunteer on project Vocal, supporting people with learning disabilities to become actively involved in their community by volunteering.
Meeting on the pitch for training sessions before one-to-one mentoring helped Rosalind to build a positive relationship with her Behind Every Kick mentee.
“The day was fantastic for QBE Business Insurance- we all really enjoyed it and commented at the end of the day on how beneficial and rewarding it was.”
Karen heard about Grandmentors through the local business community, and is already seeing a great difference in her mentee, only a few weeks into supporting her as a volunteer.
Over the past few months the One Small Step Project has had no shortage of updates, and we thought there would be no better time to share them with you than to round up 2017!
Former schoolteacher Diana found an opportunity to use her research and teaching skills again with Volunteering Matters’ Learning for Life Together project
When 90 year old Hartcliffe resident Rose was approached to take part in a Bristol Ageing Better intergenerational learning project, she wasn’t keen on speaking directly with the children, so Volunteering Matters found a way for her to get involved on her terms.
Jeff has suffered from mobility issues for years, and found his health issues made him feel quite low. But through volunteering with Sporting Chance he has felt more confident and outgoing.
Even though Darina works 3 days a week as a property lawyer, she makes time to volunteer when she can with LifeLines in Brighton.
Sandy, 70, from Stirling has been volunteering with our Handyperson Project for the past 10 years and he told us what a day in his volunteer role looks like.
As part of our older people's focus week, we chatted to one of our long-serving volunteers about her experience as a telephone befriender, and found out what motivates her in her role.
Angela volunteered with Active Volunteering Barnet, and she feels she has gone from strength to strength in confidence, happiness and people skills.
'Having the opportunity to form such close bonds with the people who support you with a disability on a day-to-day basis sets volunteering apart from other forms of care'
"From volunteering I have been able to accept myself and build my self esteem and confidence and feel like I have a meaning and a reason to get out of bed."
"I really enjoy my visits just as much as Shirley does. I know that I am helping Shirley and feel privileged to be able to do so."
"I have been really excited to see him getting more confident and outgoing over the weeks while he has been volunteering."
"Volunteering gives you a sense of responsibility and it shows you you have an important part to play in your community."
"There is a positive interdependency between the volunteers and myself which I find really rewarding. "
"It is lovely that Mum now sees a brighter future for herself and her child. She understands everyone isn’t against her now that she’s had me supporting and empowering her."
"Mentoring gives us an opportunity to continue to deploy our skills and knowledge, but in a very different environment."
" Initially I felt it was more important to care practically for Kurt than to be his friend, but I now know that a good friend makes a good carer too."
"It can sometimes feel like little has changed but, standing back, I can recognise that all the small steps they make are taking them in a better and more positive direction."
"The experience has been invaluable; I am always touched whenever the family thank me for my support because I know it is coming from the heart."
"Nothing is more rewarding than seeing her enjoy trying new things that she wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to do."
"My mental health has improved as a result of being able to talk through my problems with another person in the community."
"Volunteering gives me a sense of pride and makes me feel I am doing something worthwhile – I would definitely recommend it to others."
"I’d certainly recommend that busy social workers consider make use of the programme: committed & compassionate volunteers can make the world of difference to vulnerable families."
"His confidence and abilities grew more with each visit and he showed a keen interest in learning new things. He soon started to use his own initiative, and towards the end of his placement he really seemed to enjoy himself."
"It’s not just the contact, it is the fact that they are thinking of me which is very special to me"
"Volunteering is a great opportunity to support vulnerable families while social services and mental health services are struggling with very limited resources."
"I've met all sorts of people. It's great to share all our stories and experience the pleasure in volunteering"
"I had never lived alone before my wife passed away. Living alone was a big shock initially, but volunteering has helped my well-being a lot."
This report explores how voluntary and community organisations and Clinical Commissioning Groups can collaborate to deliver Personal Health Budgets.
An external review of the Grandmentors programme, conducted between June and September 2017. The review looks at what Grandmentors offers in the current policy and commissioning environment, and how the model could be evolved for the future.
In general those who could benefit most from volunteering are the least likely to be able to take part in it. This paper from Volunteering Matters looks at what organisations can do to start addressing the equity issues in volunteering.
This research summary presents findings from a rapid literature review by Leeds Beckett University on volunteering, inequalities & public health.
Join In’s latest ground-breaking research looks at how behavioural science can persuade more people to give their time and volunteer, with a focus on sport.
This report aims to share our learning from commissioned work and the steps needed to improve youth volunteering with the health & social care sectors.
The 1st of October marks the International Day of Older Persons and we’d like to take the opportunity to celebrate the 8,700 older and retired people who share their time and talents each year by volunteering with us.
Staff from People’s Postcode Lottery went to visit Sporting Chance in Stockton to see first-hand the sort of projects their funding supports.
We’re very proud to announce that our Grandmentors project has received another award nomination, this time for the Good Help Awards from Nesta!
We are delighted to announce that Volunteering Matters has won the award for ‘social care, advice and support’ in the 2018 Charity Awards for our Grandmentors programme.
As thousands of volunteers are being celebrated up and down the country as part of Volunteers’ Week, we of course couldn’t let the moment pass without three cheers for our incredible volunteers!
This month sees the launch of our brand new campaign to change young people’s perceptions of volunteering. Titled ' Revolution You ', our campaign aims to challenge preconceived notions of volunteering and encourage more young people to consider a gap year in the UK.
Both Stockton Council and Wiltshire Council will be teaming up with Volunteering Matters to launch Grandmentors in their area, providing new inter-generational mentoring to young people leaving care.
We’re delighted to announce that our work with and for young people across Ipswich has been given a boost this month with the arrival of a new youth volunteering project in the area – Positive Futures.
Funds from the players of the People's Postcode Lottery will continue to help Volunteering Matters tackle social isolation and loneliness in the UK.
Volunteering has the power to transform lives but it can have a serious image problem with many people believing it’s just not for them. On International Men’s Day we’d like to thank the thousands of men who volunteer and we challenge more to join them.
KBNe UK, a partner of Korean Broadcasting Network in Europe, are producing a TV documentary about life and opportunities for senior citizens and the importance of the third sector, and sought to highlight our work in the UK. Our RSVP conference provided the perfect backdrop for the production team to meet some of our amazing volunteers.
Margaret is a retired secondary school Head of Art, and has has been teaching an art class as part of LifeLines for local people over 50 for almost 5 years. She shared some of the work and explained the theme of the most recent project!
Volunteering Matters took over Christchurch mansion in October 2017 to showcase our volunteering projects running across Suffolk.
To celebrate Grandparents Day we caught up with some of our amazing volunteers and staff, grandparents and grandchildren alike, to find out how they’ll be marking the occasion.
We have launched many amazing new projects in the past year, all made possible by talented and dedicated volunteers across the UK. We were delighted to shine a spotlight on some of them at the Volunteering Matters 2017 Annual General Meeting which took place on the 28th of September.
Homerton Library opened its doors to emerging talent from across Hackney last night for Insightful Minds – an evening of literary inspired music and spoken word, performed for and by local young people and organised by our amazing Positive Futures London volunteer, Shinelle.
We are delighted to announce that Volunteering Matters has been shortlisted for the ‘Community Award’ category in the 2017 Charity Times Awards.
Volunteering Matters is one of 13 organisations selected by the innovation charity Nesta to take part in the Second Half Fund, enabling us to replicate our Grandmentors project in five new areas.
Sheffield over 50s were joined by special guests including Anne Murphy, the Lord Mayor of Sheffield at Longley Four Greens Community Centre this week to celebrate the launch of Sporting Chance.
Volunteering Matters is delighted that Duncan Tree, our Head of Policy and Performance, has been recognised with an MBE for services to health and social care in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours.
Volunteering Matters, with support from strategic funding partners, is commissioning an external review of their Grandmentors programme.
Middlesbrough’s Sporting Chance group star in a film that forms part of a national campaign to expose the growing crisis of loneliness and encourage people to take action to overcome the problem as part of the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness.
We are delighted to be providers on the Access Impact Management Programme, to build the capacity of charities and social enterprises - helping them increase their social impact and diversify their incomes.
We are delighted to be one of five organisations selected to take part in the Give More Get More programme, receiving an award of £99,335 to develop a new volunteering opportunity for people over 50.
We want to tell the stories of our Full Time Volunteers from the last five decades - if you were once a Full Time Volunteer with us, find out how you can get in touch...
Our Full-Time Volunteering programme won the Youth Volunteering and Social Action Award at the (CYPN) Children and Young People Now award ceremony in central London last night.
In 2015, #GivingTuesday broke the world record for the highest amount of money donated online in a 24 hour period. We think this is brilliant – but #GivingTuesday shouldn’t just be about giving money so we are asking our supporters to donate the gift of time by volunteering in their communities.
Women Against Sexual exploitation and violence Speak UP (WASSUP), our Ipswich-based youth volunteer project, has been named runner-up in the British Red Cross Humanitarian Awards.
Last Friday our Sporting Chance project marked its third birthday with a lunchtime party at the Riverside football stadium (Legend’s Lounge) in Middlesbrough.
Sporting Chance, our innovative project that addresses social isolation and poor physical and mental health amongst men aged 50+ in Middlesbrough, has been replicated in Stockton-on-Tees.
Our Women Against Sexual violence and exploitation Speak UP (WASSUP) project, based in Ipswich, has won the Anne Dunford OBE Award for youth participation.
Volunteering Matters is part of a consortium, led by Sport and Recreation Alliance, that will continue the work of Join In, an organisation that was set up after the 2012 Olympics to promote sport volunteering.
Women Against Sexual exploitation and violence Speak UP (WASSUP), our Ipswich-based project, has been shortlisted for a British Red Cross Humanitarian Award.
Full-Time Volunteering, Sex Matters Too and Volunteers Supporting Families have all been shortlisted for Children and Young People Now awards.
We are delighted to be a finalist for the Families Included prize, presented by Essex County Council and the innovation charity Nesta.
The 1989 Children’s Act says councils must appoint volunteers to ‘visit, befriend and advise’ children in care if it is in their best interests. It is not acceptable that 97% of children in care are missing out.
Volunteering Matters has been shortlisted in the ‘brand development’ category in the 2016 Third Sector Excellence Awards.
Volunteering Matters has joined more than 80 leading charities across the UK in campaigning for better care through the Care and Support Alliance.
Volunteering Matters has been shortlisted for the ‘Community’ category for the 2016 Charity Times Awards.
Sporting Chance, a project for men over 50 in the Middlesbrough area became film stars for the day when Leanne from Button Media Management came down to create a great new promotional video for them
The Mayor of Greenwich, Councillor Norman Adams, joined our Volunteers Supporting Families (VSF) volunteers at an event to recognise and celebrate the impact of their work with vulnerable families.
From Anglo-Saxon times through to the modern day, Suffolk has long been a place chosen by migrants as their new home. Volunteering Matters was recently funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund to track this history of migration.
Spirit of 2012 today announced a UK wide consortium for its latest campaign #GetOutGetActive which focuses on increasing participation in fun and inclusive physical activity.
Young people and their communities have reason to celebrate as the Big Lottery Fund grants Volunteering Matters’ Positive Futures project funding to expand its work in East London.
Volunteers from Croydon were celebrated by the Mayor last night for their work supporting families across the borough, at an event held at Bernard Weatherill House
Today, over 100 volunteers from RSVP Coventry will come together to mark more than a decade’s worth of work in the city of Coventry.
The national volunteering charity Volunteering Matters was last night (Sep 2015) named charity of the year at the European Diversity Awards (EDAs), held at the Natural History Museum.
Our families project supporting vulnerable families had cause to celebrate last week, winning the ‘Supporting Young People, Children & Families' award at South Tyneside Volunteer Awards 2015.
A volunteering project based in Norfolk has reason to celebrate today - the Big Lottery has granted UK charity Volunteering Matters’ Futures project money supplement its work over the next three years.
Volunteering Matters launched work placements throughout the UK, designed to inspire young people with physical and learning disabilities into work and tackle misconceptions about hiring disabled employees.
On Friday 1st May a special celebration was held at the North Norfolk Wool Loft Open Day, at Sheringham Community Centre, to mark the 2000th member joining Norfolk Knitters and Stitchers.
On 13th March, three school girls from Cardinal Pole Catholic School celebrated when they were announced as runners-up in their school competition, run by charity First Give
Volunteers are invaluable. For older and isolated members of the community, young people leaving care, for disabled volunteers, for the NHS, and many more. Out Chief Executive Oonagh considers what a world without volunteers might look like.
This Mother’s Day we celebrated a member of our own staff and her daughter – who together show how a passion for volunteering can clearly run in the family!
Our Head of Communications Alison Harvie on how to get that New Year’s resolution off the page and into action.
Chief Executive, Oonagh Aitken, reflects on the recent GOGA conference and considers how volunteers can play a part in supporting disabled people to Get Out and Get Active.
In this blog post we’re looking at the creative marketing tips that we’ve been sharing - you might find something new or different you could consider applying to your volunteer recruitment and marketing!
Gethyn Williams was Co-Chair of the National Network of Volunteer Involving Agencies (NNVIA), and in August he reflected on what we can learn from the contribution of volunteers in the immediate aftermath of the Grenfell Tower disaster.
Being a Volunteer Organiser can be incredibly fulfilling but sometimes people have misgivings about taking on the role, feeling the responsibility might be too daunting. RSVP Publicity Volunteer, Colin Mason, caught up with two Volunteer Organisers to find out more about their experience of the role.
Chief Executive, Oonagh Aitken talks about barriers to volunteering and reaffirms our commitment to ensuring that everyone has the chance to transform their lives and the lives of others through the power of volunteering.
Dame Philippa Russell DBE spoke to us about volunteering and the flexible framework and the window of opportunity this model offers to the sector.