• With just two months to go until Volunteers’ Week 2022, taking place 1-7 June, the organisers have shared the news that the theme for this year’s week-long celebration is ‘A time to say thanks’.

    Volunteers’ Week is an annual event, now entering its 38th year. The week sees charities, voluntary groups, social organisations, and volunteers themselves come together to recognise the incredible impact that volunteering has in communities around the UK. This year’s Volunteer’s Week also coincides with celebrations to mark The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

  • Young people’s volunteering levels show sharp increase

    The income of Britain’s biggest charities grew in 2013/14, while that of smaller and medium-sized charities’ decreased in real terms, new analysis shows, continuing a long-term trend.

  • The Challenge describes itself as “the UK’s leading charity for building a more integrated society”. They create and deliver programmes bringing people together including NCS (National Citizens Service), HeadStart (keeping NCS graduates aged 16-19 involved with volunteering) and HeadStart Action (for young people 14-18 who are at risk of becoming NEET).

  • Defending the rights of voluntary organisations to campaign and safeguarding public trust and confidence in charities are among the priorities outlined in NCVO’s new strategic plan, launched today.

    The five-year strategy follows a consultation with NCVO members last year, and will take NCVO to its centenary year, 2019.

  • Leonard Cheshire Disability runs a programme called Can Do to get young disabled people and those with long term health conditions actively involved in their communities, gaining work experience at local organisations and volunteering at charities and projects.

  • Sir Stuart Etherington, chief executive of NCVO, said:

    I was very pleased to hear the prime minister’s speech today. She is entirely correct that the state alone cannot solve problems, and that different types of organisations share the responsibility for improving our society, but also that between us we have the skills to make it happen.

  • Commenting on the Conservative Party manifesto, Ruth Driscoll, head of policy and public services at NCVO, said:

    'It is positive that the manifesto reflects a continuing commitment to the principles of voluntarism and putting power in the hands of communities. Nevertheless, under the past government this desire has been hampered by public spending settlements which have been very challenging for many charities.

  • Commenting on David Cameron’s announcement, Sir Stuart Etherington, chief executive of NCVO, said:

    'This is an exciting proposal which would be good news for charities and for businesses.

    'Many charities urgently need more volunteers to support their work, while volunteering is an excellent way for employees to develop skills and confidence that will benefit their employers.

    'Anything that helps encourage our culture of volunteering is very welcome. We look forward to seeing the detail of the proposal.'

    Volunteering and employers – quick facts

    • An estimated 15 million people in the UK volunteer at least once a month (1).
    • In the last survey to examine the topic, 'work commitments' were the main reason given by people for not volunteering. (2)
    • Employer-supported volunteering, schemes where employers arrange volunteering opportunities for staff, have grown substantially in popularity in recent years. Employers benefit from staff developing skills and experience, and staff whose job satisfaction and connection with their communities increases. Around 1 in 12 employees took part in such a scheme in 2013/14, compared to fewer than 1 in 20 in 2008/9. (3)

    Read our analysis on volunteering and public policy: the big topics - the NHS, unemployment, localism, and austerity - where volunteers make a difference

    NCVO champions the voluntary sector and volunteering. We connect, represent and support voluntary organisations.

  • People in the UK remain willing to become involved in society but attracting people from more diverse backgrounds remains a challenge, says a new report from NCVO.

    The report, Getting Involved: How people make a difference (pdf, 3.4MB), gives an overview of the different ways and activities in which people participate in society, drawing together statistics from a variety of sources.

  • Voluntary Action Sheffield runs The New Beginnings Project which supports asylum seekers and refugees to integrate into Sheffield life, through volunteering, employment, education and mentoring. 


  • The merger between NCVO and Volunteering England was finalised today, with the organisations set to formally come together on 1 January 2013.

  • The Gig Buddies project from Stay Up Late matches socially isolated people who have learning disabilities with volunteers who share the same interests in music or other cultural passions so they can go to gigs together – and hopefully enable ongoing friendships to develop.

  • Harry Heber fled the Nazis in 1938 and came to the UK from Vienna on the Kindertransport.

    His parents were also brought to the UK so survived the Holocaust but were so poor they couldn’t afford to have him live with them. Later he became an optician in London and then wanted to give something back to the organisation which saved him and his family, so since retiring, he has volunteered for World Jewish Relief making prescription glasses to send for free to communities in eastern Europe who can’t afford them. 

    At the last count (end of 2018), Harry had distributed almost 60,000 glasses to 15 countries. He’s most recently been providing glasses to victims of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.

    You can read more about Harry (and his sister Ruth) here.

    Contact: Rebecca Singer, Head of Communications and Community Engagement at World Jewish Relief - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; 020 8736 1250



  • The Access Project runs a programme of in-school mentoring and academic tuition by volunteers for 14-18 year olds from disadvantaged backgrounds to help them secure university places.

  • Love Support Unite is a grassroots charity that partners with communities in Malawi to break the cycle of poverty through sustainable development, offering “a leg-up rather than a hand-out”.

  • Cocktails in Care Homes is a project run by intergenerational charity Magic Me. They put on cocktail parties every Wednesday and Thursday evenings from 6pm – 7.30pm in London care homes. Volunteers get to socialise, serve drinks and chat with residents. And have a drink themselves of course. They’re hoping to expand to other areas.

  • Maternity Mates  recruit, train and match-up volunteer Maternity Mates with pregnant women in need of extra support in East London (Tower Hamlets, Newham and Waltham Forest). The volunteers offer practical and emotional support to disadvantaged pregnant women, any time from the 5th month of pregnancy, through childbirth and up until the early weeks of motherhood.  

  • Room to Reward offers charity staff and volunteers the opportunity to enjoy a short hotel break as a reward for their commitment, hard work and selflessness. They’ve signed up over 475 hotel partners to the initiative who have agreed to donate unsold rooms to nominated ‘hidden heroes’ within charities. Over 750 hidden heroes have been rewarded so far.

  • Dental charity Dentaid is tackling toothache and oral problems around the world, using mobile units to treat vulnerable people in the UK and sending volunteers and portable dental surgeries called DentaidBoxes to refugee camps in Calais, Greece and parts of Africa. It relies on a network of volunteers.

  • Action for Refugees in Lewisham (AFRIL), a small charity in London working with refugees and asylum seekers, runs The Rainbow Club, a Saturday school offering Maths and English lessons to children aged 4 to 11 years old from refugee and asylum seeker backgrounds.

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