NCVO and Centre for Ageing Better partner to increase age-friendly inclusive volunteering in England

NCVO has announced today that it will partner with the Centre for Ageing Better to support its efforts to increase age-friendly inclusive volunteering in England. NCVO will do this through the delivery of training and the creation of an action learning group of 'advocates for age-friendly inclusive volunteering'. NCVO will recieve a grant amount of £28,000 and the project will run until March 2023.

This new partnership with NCVO seeks to build on the legacy of Centre for Ageing Better’s review of volunteering and community contributions in later life, carried out for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). The review and its related projects resulted in the development of ‘five actions for more age-friendly and inclusive volunteering’ designed to help volunteer involving organisations. Centre for Ageing Better will now share ownership of this research and learning with NCVO to maximise its impact at the national level and reach volunteering organisations across England with the five actions for age friendly inclusive volunteering.

To support this, NCVO will use the funding received from Centre for Ageing Better to incorporate the five age friendly volunteering actions, and findings from the review, into its popular training course, Good practice in volunteer management, and action learning. NCVO will also use the funding and research received through the partnership to develop a group of organisations who will act as ‘advocates for age friendly inclusive volunteering’.

These organisations will grow their practice and analysis together, developing new practice and guidance for other organisations in this area. This will involve a minimum of ten organisations over a six-month period, recruited through an open applications process. This group will analyse barriers to age-friendly volunteering and create solutions which support the sector with volunteering policy and age, and advocate for systemic change with policymakers and government.

Jarina Choudhury, strategic volunteering lead at NCVO, said: “We are delighted to be working with Centre for Ageing Better on this vital issue and thank them for their financial support to deliver this exciting and important work. Both our volunteer training and member network reach throughout England have the potential to help spread and embed age friendly and inclusive practices in volunteering across the country."

"The pandemic has further highlighted the need to engage volunteers of all ages but we must look to address the issues which are stopping older volunteers or potential older volunteers from engaging fully as we know how much they can bring and do contribute. We hope this joint work will have a massive positive impact on our communities.”

Rachel Monaghan, Programme Manager at the Centre for Ageing Better, said: “We’ve built up a significant evidence base which shows that contributing in our communities works wonders for both individual and collective wellbeing. Volunteering opportunities need to be age-friendly and inclusive to give everyone the chance to be involved, whatever their age."

"This is a fantastic collaboration, combining NCVO’s brilliant reputation and reach with Ageing Better’s evidence-based research and learning. Focusing more strongly on embedding an age-friendly approach into volunteering will create real, tangible benefits for all people in their local communities.”

-ENDS-

Notes to editors.

Media enquiries: For press and media enquiries please contact NCVO via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

About NCVO: NCVO is the largest membership organisation for the voluntary sector in England. With 17,000+ members, NCVO represents all types of organisations, from large ‘household name’ charities to small voluntary and community groups involved at the local level. We are also the lead body for volunteering in England. To find out more visit the NCVO website or follow us on Twitter @NCVO.

About the Centre for Ageing Better: The UK’s population is undergoing a massive age shift. In less than 20 years, one in four people will be over 65. The fact that many of us are living longer is a great achievement. But unless radical action is taken by government, business and others in society, millions of us risk missing out on enjoying those extra years. At the Centre for Ageing Better, we want everyone to enjoy later life. We create change in policy and practice informed by evidence and work with partners across England to improve employment, housing, health and communities. We are a charitable foundation, funded by The National Lottery Community Fund, and part of the Government’s What Works Network. Visit us at ageing-better.org.uk or follow us on Twitter @Ageing_Better. 

More about the project:

The outcomes NCVO and Centre for Ageing Better expect to see from this project are:

  • increased understanding of age friendly inclusive principles by volunteering organisations in England
  • volunteering organisations develop their own actions to enable and/or embed age-friendly inclusive volunteering
  • volunteering organisations contribute to developing a narrative on policy positions on age and volunteering
  • improved design and practice and new projects e.g., co-produced with older volunteers, new models of community contributions, activism and social action, etc.

The impacts NCVO and Centre for Ageing Better expect to see from this project are:

  • adaptation of organisational models to support age friendly volunteering inclusive organisations
  • reviews of existing policies on EDI or creation of Age Friendly Inclusive Policies
  • reviews of recruitment procedures and identifying of ways to make them more inclusive
  • organisations experiment with informal volunteering eg. integrate into formal volunteering or create informal roles
  • organisations report an increase in people aged 50+ seeking to volunteer
  • organisations communicate their stories to different stakeholders on what has changed/what is working
  • volunteers aged 50+ report a positive and rewarding experience, e.g., feeling included, valued, safe
  • volunteers aged 50+ report that they are involved in new ways e.g., flexibility that fits, lived experience, co-production, choice of roles, etc.
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