Agenda item

Supporting Active Communities - A Volunteer Strategy for Southwark 2021 - 24

To adopt the vision for volunteering in the borough and related recommendations.




1.  That the following vision for volunteering in the borough be adopted.


We want Southwark to be a place where everyone feels confident to help and support their neighbours and local groups by getting involved in their communities. We want to build a Southwark where everyone has access to volunteering, so individuals and the places where we live, work, worship and visit can thrive.

2.  The it be agreed that the priority for change we wish to affect through this work over the next three years are increasing diversity among volunteers, improving pathways to work through volunteering and continuing to focus on young adults volunteering. In particular t the following outcomes for the strategy to deliver have been set out: 


·  More people from our Black Asian and ethnic minority communities engage in volunteering

·  The diversity of trustees on voluntary and community sector (VCS) boards increases

·  More people accessing employment through the experience gained by volunteering

·  More organisations offer opportunities to volunteers

·  Improved experience of volunteering through support of host organisations

·  Residents feel supported in their neighbourhoods by active communities

·  Young adults are active volunteers


3.  That the following key objectives for the strategy for the next three years 2021 to 2024 that will enable us together with our key partners to deliver our vision and these outcomes be approved: 


a)  Increase awareness and knowledge of volunteering: We want to raise the profile of and celebrate volunteering. We know that people cannot take up opportunities if they do not know about them. We want everyone to have access to volunteering, and feel that this is an activity they can take part in, a normal part of life, and gain the benefits from this way of taking part. We want people to feel valued for their contributions to supporting their communities thrive.


b)  Provide appropriate support to organisations that host volunteers: Volunteers are often the backbone to organisations; they provide the much-needed support in so many different areas. Many grass roots organisations and community groups are volunteer led and are only able to function because of volunteers. We want to make sure all groups and organisations who have volunteers are fully supported through best practice and reward and recognition


c)  Make volunteering, inclusive, accessible meaningful and valued: We want to ensure volunteering is open to all.We know that currently the profile of who volunteers does not reflect the profile of the borough and that therefore many people do not access the benefits being a volunteer can bring. We want to change this. People who want to give their time should be able to easily find an opportunity and access volunteering no matter where they are from, live or their protected characteristics. Many look to volunteering to enhance their work skills and we want to support organisations to ensure their volunteering programme can create appropriate pathways into work.


4.  That the action plan that sets out how the strategy will be delivered set out at Appendix 2 of the report be approved.


5.  That it be noted this strategy development has been led by Community Southwark in partnership with the council and other key voluntary sector organisations and passes on its thanks for this collaboration.




Supporting documents: