Annual Return of Volunteer Centres 2011
The 2011 Annual Return for Volunteer Centres (ARVC) provides invaluable information about the characteristics and performance of Volunteer Centres in England in the 2010-11 financial year. It represents 169 VCs (64% response rate).
The results describe the continuation of a challenging environment for Volunteer Centres: their average income is declining in real terms; demand for their services is outstripping their capacity to provide five of their six core functions; and the number of volunteer-involving organisations registered, volunteer opportunities registered, and volunteer roles registered has decreased.
The report, however, also reconfirms the key strengths of the network. Volunteer Centres are:
- Particularly effective at engaging certain groups of people, namely young people, ethnic minority groups, and people not in employment. Such groups may require additional support that requires face-to-face support, something that Volunteer Centres are well placed to deliver.
- Becoming increasingly politically and strategically involved. There were notable increases in the number responding to consultations and to facilitating their own.
- Diversifying their income sources in the face of financial challenges. There has been a rise in the number of Volunteer Centres charging for services and fees, and increase in the amount of money raised from this source. Similarly, they are accessing larger sums from grant funding.
- Existing in an environment of collaboration and partnership. As in previous years the majority are integrated with other organisations, most commonly with their local CVS. A small rise on the figures for last year was observed, indicating a continuing trend of increasing collaboration with CVSs.