NCVO works to secure and support the England-wide network of quality Volunteer Centres (sometimes known as volunteer bureaux or volunteer development agencies) promoting and enabling volunteering and community involvement.
NCVO have worked with Volunteer Centres to develop the Volunteer Centre Quality Accreditation (VCQA) quality mark which is awarded to Volunteer Centres who can show they have met all 5 core functions of this standard. This accreditation provides assurance to commissioners and funders, as well as members of the public and volunteer involving organisations, that the Volunteer Centre is providing a high quality and effective service.
NCVO also provide a comprehensive set of good practice resources on KnowHow NonProfit that Volunteer Centres can use to work with volunteers including a set of information sheets which are free to NCVO member organisations.
What do Volunteer Centres do?
Volunteer Centres provide support at a local level for individual volunteers and volunteer involving organisations. They have five core functions:
1. Strategic Development of Volunteering
Outcome: Through the activity of the Volunteer Centre and its engagement with local networks and decision makers there is a positive environment in which volunteering is flourishing.
2. Good Practice Development
Outcome: Through the activity of the Volunteer Centre; organisations from all sectors (involving or providing volunteers) improve or attain positive consistency in their volunteering programmes.
3. Developing Volunteering Opportunities
Outcome: The Volunteer Centre’s development activity increases and improves the quantity, quality, and diversity of volunteering locally.
4. Voice of Volunteering
Outcome: Through the Volunteer Centre’s activities there is an increased awareness of the issues impacting on volunteering.
Outcome: Through the Volunteer Centre’s activities the general public and all sectors are better informed about and have access to an effective and efficient brokerage service. Matching both individuals and groups interested in volunteering with appropriate opportunities in the local community. Volunteer Centres hold information on a comprehensive range of opportunities and offer potential volunteers support and advice matching their motivation to volunteer with appropriate volunteering opportunities.
Volunteer Centre Managers e-mail group
Volunteer Centres can subscribe to the Volunteer Centre Managers Google group to share information, discuss the volunteering sector and read contributions from Volunteering England.
Support from BIG Assist
Volunteer centres are eligible to receive free consultancy and training through the BIG Assist programme as well as access to online forums, free resources and mentoring/visit opportunities.