Identifying opportunities where volunteering can bridge gaps against forecasted ‘skills-short’ career opportunities, support those facing multiple disadvantages and/or those in long term unemployment and finding how to utilise skills of existing volunteers.
Exploring the opportunities and challenges associated with climate-focused volunteering, bringing to life a set of collective ambitions for resource, investment, and policy planning to enable volunteering to thrive and make sustainable differences to both people and planet.
There are two sides to this strand: 1) volunteering as a well-recognised route to support an individual’s or community’s physical and mental wellbeing; and 2) as a route to add value or enhance statutory services offered by volunteers using their experience to shape the offer.
With participation rates in volunteering highest amongst those aged 65 – 74, we aim to understand and use their skills, interests, and motivations for the benefit of wider society and ‘plug the gap’ for in-demand skills that can be drawn upon by effectively engaging volunteers.
Volunteering is a recognised vehicle for skills development and employability, providing a pathway into education, employment, or training. Volunteering also provides an opportunity for young people to both get respite from the challenges they may face while developing skills, confidence, and self-esteem.
Volunteering builds social capital, creating resilience in communities. The foundations of recovering from Covid; being part of and contributing to a resilient community is what makes places and locations better - to live, work, rest, and play. Conversely, resilient communities foster a greater sense of belonging and purpose; they are at the heart of deliberative democracy; they enable us to function, and people to have the support they need and seek.