Featured Member - Volunteer Now
The Volunteer Now web site is a one stop shop for information on volunteering opportunities and good practice in involving volunteers from effective volunteer management to safeguarding vulnerable groups. While the DIY Committee Guide website is a useful source of information for organisations and volunteers involved in governance.
Volunteer Now was established in 2010 the result of collaboration between 10 organisations which led to merger and the creation of a new dynamic initiative to do better together for volunteers and volunteering.
Volunteer Now provides recognition for volunteers in a number of ways e.g. young people volunteering through the Millennium Volunteers Programme; over 1,500 young people got their MV award for 200 hours volunteering in 2013/14, a fantastic 300,000 hours of community service. As an organisation they are also committed to enabling older people to utilise their life experience as volunteers and in the process enhance their own health and well being.
Volunteer Now have delivered successful volunteering programmes for a range of major and local events, most recently the 3,300 volunteers at the 2013 World Police and Fire Games and the 1,000 who supported the Giro D’Italia Big Start 2014. The organisation delivers a range of community services that involve volunteers such as driving, befriending, transport buddying and support services for older people. Volunteer Now is also supporting the development and delivery of a relatively new concept in Northern Ireland, Timebanking.
Volunteer Now is proud to be a free membership organisation and welcome organisations, big and small, who value and involve volunteers to become members and work with Volunteer Now to promote and support a diverse and vibrant culture of volunteering.
In the past year Volunteer Now have established a social enterprise called Volunteer Now Enterprises Ltd which supports the work and activities of the charity. Volunteer Now Enterprises Ltd delivers training and capacity building programmes, provides assessment against quality standards, consultation and research services, and all forms of bespoke support to volunteer-involving organisations.
There are currently over a quarter of a million volunteers in Northern Ireland who all play a vital role; from volunteer drivers to sports coaches, from hospital volunteers to those working in charity shops. The list is potentially endless as volunteers are involved in all forms of voluntary activity from service giving to community action, advocacy and campaigning. Not least volunteers are giving leadership to the whole of the voluntary and community sector in their roles as management committee members. Volunteer Now believes that the relevance and important contribution of the hundreds of thousands of volunteers who give their time to benefit others and their communities should never be taken for granted.
Volunteers’ Week is one example of the work of Volunteer Now throughout the year to support, encourage and recognise volunteers. Volunteer Now is co-ordinating the 2014 Volunteers’ Week campaign across Northern Ireland in partnership with organisations from the NI Volunteering Strategy Steering Group and the Department for Social Development. This is the 30th Anniversary of Volunteers Week 1-7 June and Volunteer Now want hundreds of volunteer involving organisations to take part continuing a growing trend to see the week as a campaign which unites, small grass roots organisations and large cause charities to showcase the amazing contribution volunteers make and inspires others to get involved.
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