Volunteering Matters has nearly 50 years’ experience of providing support for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged people in communities across the UK. We work in partnership with local and national government, health, crime and education sectors and other voluntary organisations to ensure our projects have the best possible outcomes.
We understand the challenges faced by commissioners and we can provide flexible and cost effective solutions tailored to meet the needs of your local area. Our focus is on delivering high quality, measurable results and our programmes for young people, disabled people, vulnerable families, and older people are innovative and evidence based. As commissioners we can offer you:
- The support of a respected and policy-leading charity,
- Knowledge and expertise in successfully tackling some of the most complex issues faced by young people, disabled people, older people and families,
- Experience of delivering and managing large scale contracts,
- Delivery tailored to meet local needs based on a tried and tested methodology.
Our policy work provides leadership for the sector, ensuring that volunteers’ voices are heard and able to influence national and local policy development.
YOUNG PEOPLE – Supporting Young People to be better prepared for a fulfilling adult life
96% of young volunteers feel better prepared for employment or education.
“When young people have been in care and are struggling with their own lives, a volunteer can often understand what they’re going through and can give them perspective and direction, providing encouragement and motivation to prevent them from giving up.”
Bruce Biege, Senior Mental Health Social Worker, London Borough of Hounslow
We believe that volunteering has a key role to play in addressing the challenging environment that many young people are facing in their transition to adulthood. By working with some of the most disengaged young people across the UK, including those in and leaving care and not in education, employment or training (NEET), we help young people to gain employability and life skills, greater confidence, raised aspirations and a wider social support network. Our services compliment the work of social workers and our projects are embedded in social services.
Our services include:
- Mentoring and befriending programmes: such as Grandmentors, which pairs young care leavers with an experienced older mentor to guide them through their transition into independent living.
- Our youth-led volunteering programmes: including Positive Futures London where young people aged 14-25 lead social action activities to support others in their local community, such as digital and social media workshops with elderly people.
- Peer support programmes for young people: such as our WASSUP programme, where young women design and deliver workshops to schools, professionals and safeguarding boards on issues of domestic abuse and sexual exploitation.
DISABLED PEOPLE – Supporting disabled people to fulfil their individual potential
Over 90% of disabled volunteers progress into employment or study.
“The support that Volunteering Matters provides continues to enable people with learning disabilities to improve their confidence so they can lead a full, active and independent life in the community. The new and innovative services that Volunteering Matters are developing are good examples of where we should be heading in the years to come.”
Stephen Rogers, Joint Commissioner for Adults with a Learning Disability Norfolk County Council
We know that continuing cuts in public services present a challenge to commissioners to provide personalised approaches and preventative activities for disabled people. Our established Supported Volunteering Programme enables disabled people aged 14+ to engage in volunteering, live independently, develop new skills and play an active role in their community. Our programmes can help you meet your preventative duties in a personalised and proactive way and deliver costs savings through the increased independence of disabled people.
FAMILIES – Supporting vulnerable families to feel less isolated and better socially engaged
100% of social workers would recommend Volunteering Matters as a partner; we deliver an above average score on the Family Outcomes Star.
“I have seen cases where I really thought that reception into care would be the only option as it seemed like the parent could not make the necessary changes – and the volunteer has turned that around.”
Aaron, Child Protection Social Worker
Our innovative, award-winning Volunteers Supporting Families programme provides support for families with a range of difficulties such as those on Child Protection and Child in Need plans, where there are complex needs and neglect is an issue. We are also able to offer early intervention to prevent families going into crisis, linking them with local services and activities.
Our service is targeted and family led, supported by a carefully matched volunteer. It is an additional resource for Social Workers and other referrers, successfully achieving improved outcomes for children and families, reducing risk, isolation and improving the quality of family life. By improving parenting skills, families are enabled to stay together and live more independently.
OLDER PEOPLE – Supporting older people to improved THEIR health and wellbeing
93% of volunteers feel more physically active and leave the home more.
We know that services across the UK are struggling to cope with our ageing population. We are uniquely placed to empower older people aged 50+ to use their skills and abilities within their local community. With over 18,000 older volunteers across the UK, we will work with you to identify the need in your community and provide solutions that meet those needs and the requirements of the Care Act 2014. Our services include:
- Peer-led programmes which reduce the isolation and loneliness of older people and improve their health and well-being, such as Welcome Friends in Wales and Help at Hand in Scotland
- Supporting vulnerable older people to attend health appointments and link them with available health and well-being activities in their local community, such as our driving schemes
- Health and wellbeing focussed programmes, such as Sporting Chance which engages older men in fitness activities
- Intergenerational projects such as Reading in Schools and Grandmentors where older people use their skills and experience to mentor young people.