Our research and policy work
We are a national charity built on local volunteering. Our role is to inspire and enable volunteers to support people in need in our communities and hospitals.
Our research and policy work is crucial as it can help propel volunteering forward for the benefit of individuals, communities and society and assist us in delivering our charitable activities.
Through sharing our evidence, published reports and policy positions we engage with and seek to influence relevant stakeholders and decision makers regarding the NHS, social care policy and volunteering.
Our recent activity has included the following:
- We launched the second of our research reports Kickstarting a new volunteer revolution - Social Mobility: Unleashing the Power of Volunteering examines the motivations, attitudes, benefits, routes and barriers to volunteering, and discusses the implications for civic life and society. The first report in the series, First Timers, explored first-time volunteering and made recommendations for ways to encourage more individuals to volunteer for the first time. through which we explored how volunteering opportunities could be made more accessible to those currently disengaged. We want to see a nation where volunteering is part of everyone’s life.
- The research was followed by a major recruitment drive – our ‘Step Forward campaign’ - designed to reduce barriers and attract people to volunteering from all backgrounds with many featured roles in the NHS.
- We have also contributed to discussions about volunteering in connection with the NHS 10 year plan, and we were pleased to see a positive outcome with volunteering highlighted as an important area for growth.
- We are strategic partners of Helpforce and together are undertaking a number of volunteering pilots within the NHS to establish best practise. We have also researched the attitudes of NHS staff to working with volunteers in hospitals. This insight has been shared within the NHS and more widely.
This area of our work is important as it enables decision makers and other interested stakeholders to be informed of the value and opportunities for volunteering when developing relevant policy.