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New article sheds light on volunteering in specialist palliative care


Our study, undertaken with the International Observatory on End of Life Care and UCL, exploring volunteering in palliative care features in a new article in the Journal of Palliative Medicine. This

study provides the most comprehensive picture to date of exactly what roles volunteers are involved in within specialist adult palliative care in the UK. The article describes the wide range of activities and settings that volunteers are involved in – entirely

running some services. We also found that voluntary services had more volunteers overall, and more volunteers in direct contact with patients and families than statutory services. 

Full press release from Marie Curie

Annual Return for Volunteer Centres – survey (now CLOSED)
The 2012-13 annual return is available to complete now and we’d love to get your response if you’re a volunteer centre in England.

This year the survey we’ve substantially shortened the survey so it should be a lot quicker and easier to complete.

We’re using the same questions as last year so that we can compare trends, but will only ask the full set of questions every second or third year.

Take the survey now

You can also download a PDF of the survey, which you might find useful to familiarise with the questions. Please don’t use this to fill in the survey – we can only accept responses using the online survey.

Thank you in advance for participating in this survey. Your answers are incredibly valuable for the network and we will be reporting in early 2014.

Launch of the Campaign for Youth Social Action
On Thursday 27th June, the independent Campaign for Youth Social Action was established – find out more at  www.youthsocialaction.co.uk. The campaign's long term goal is to increase the number of quality social action opportunities so that 50% of young people undertake "practical action in the service of others" by 2020. 

Over the last few months, informed by research and consultation led by IVR and the Young Foundation, the Campaign for Youth Social Action has undertaken wide cross sector consultation on the development of a Quality Framework. Today, Scoping a Quality Framework for Youth Social Action is published. 

This lays the groundwork for the creation of Quality Standards for Youth Social Action. Today, the Cabinet Office announced youth social action trials and scale up funding. These trials will use this framework as part of their criteria for bids. For further details please visit www.gov.uk/government/publications/youth-social-action-fund.

You can access the research here and see the good practice principles here.

IVR welcomes Danish professor
Thomas Boje, a Professor at Roskilde University in Denmark, will be based with us for three weeks while he undertakes comparative research into volunteering in the UK and Denmark. In his time with us Thomas will be completing a series of short study visits to volunteer-involving organisations in the care, health, and youth fields.

Conference rebrand a boost for volunteering research
We're delighted that IVR will become one of the organisers of the annual Researching the Voluntary Sector conference, along with NCVO and VSSN. The conference will now be known as the Voluntary Sector and Volunteering Research conference, following the merger of Volunteering England and NCVO, and the ever increasing numbers of volunteering papers that feature. The conference will take place on the 10th and 11th of September at Sheffield Hallam University. The call for papers will be published shortly.

Community Life Survey results show rise in volunteering
The first quarterly results of the government’s eagerly awaited new survey, the Community Life survey, were published this week and show a significant rise in rates of volunteering since 2010-11: 30% volunteered at least once a month (up from 25%) and 45% volunteered at least once a year (up from 39%).

The figures on volunteering are encouraging and back up what we’ve been hearing from many of you over the last 12 months: that more people are volunteering and interested in taking part. However, we must also be cautious in what we read into these results. The figures are from the period from August to October 2012, rather than a full year. They do show a rise since the previous period, but it’s just not possible to say whether or not this is part of a wider trend in which rates of volunteering are increasing. We’ll only really be able to tell when further results from the survey are published. We also need to be careful when we look at the regional figures and other breakdowns (e.g. age, ethnicity, employment status) as some of these are based on a small numbers of respondents.

Full results of the Community Life survey are available here. The Community Life Survey has replaced the Citizenship Survey, which was cancelled by the government in 2011. The questions on volunteering are comparable between the two surveys.

Helping to inform the development of the Decade of Social Action
IVR, along with the Young Foundation, has been commissioned by the Cabinet Office to complete a piece of work to inform its work on the Decade of Social Action. Over the next two months we will be exploring what people and organisations understand by the term ‘youth social action’, helping to develop good practice principles, and highlighting examples of interesting and effective youth social action. For more information please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Date set for merger between Volunteering England and NCVO
The merger between NCVO and Volunteering England was finalised today, with the organisations set to formally come together on 1 January 2013. Further information is available here.  

City Year second year evaluation report available now
This morning we published the second year report of our evaluation of the City Year London programme, highlighting the impact that volunteering has on schools, pupils, and on the corps members themselves. We're pleased to have secured widespread coverage, including in the Daily Mail. The full report can be found here.

Volunteering England Annual Return for Volunteer Centres gets underway
Our annual return of Volunteer Centres is now available to complete. This survey provides crucial data on the activities of Volunteer Centres in England and as Volunteering England and NCVO move towards our merger in the New Year, it becomes even more important. You should have already been sent the link to complete the survey, but if not please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . THIS SURVEY HAS NOW CLOSED.

The rise of micro-volunteering
Read our latest blog, by IVR research officer Jon Paylor, on his work exploring micro-volunteering. The blog is available on the Guardian's Community Action Blog here.

Peer research volunteers wanted
vInspired has asked the Institute for Volunteering Research, the Third Sector Research Centre at the University of Birmingham and Volunteer Development Scotland to help them find out what impact vCashpoint has on local communities in England and Scotland, and on the young people involved. To help us do that we are now looking for four young volunteers to work with us on the evaluation. The deadline for applying is 19th August. WE ARE NO LONGER RECRUITING FOR THIS POSITION.

New research on the impact of a local Volunteer Centre
IVR is undertaking research for Three Rivers Volunteer Centre in Hertfordshire to explore the impact of their work. The Volunteer Centre is part of the CVS in Three Rivers which is facing closure in October.  The research will ask local volunteer-involving organisations, volunteers and local stakeholders what they think about the volunteer centre and its services and the potential impact of its closure. For further information please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Joint statement from Volunteering England and NCVO on merger talks
Volunteering England and the National Council for Voluntary Organisations are commencing formal discussions with a view to merging. Further information is available here.

IVR writes chapter in new publication on volunteering infrastructure across Europe
IVR and Volunteering England have written the England chapter in the European Volunteer Centre’s latest publication ‘Volunteering Infrastructure in Europe’. The publication draws together comprehensive summaries of 28 different countries. The full publication is available to download here

2011 Annual Return of Volunteer Centres available now
You can now get the latest information on the characteristics and activities of Volunteer Centres in England in the 2011 Annual Return of Volunteer Centes which can be found in our Evidence Bank.

Now recruiting a Research Manager to join IVR
We are seeking to recruit a Research Manager to join our team of researchers. The post holder will carry out and manage a variety of research projects and programme evaluations, as well as developing new project proposals and disseminating research findings. The post is for four days a week at a pro rata salary of £31,936 for a six month fixed-term contract. To find out more or apply visit the jobs page of Volunteering England's website.

New research explores how people participate
Consumer Focus has today published research exploring how people participate at the local level. 'Hands Up and Hands On' reinforces many of the findings of our Pathways through Participation project which we completed with NCVO and Involve last year.

Call for abstracts for new researcher session at NCVO/VSSN conference
If you’re relatively new to research in the voluntary sector, a special session at the NCVO/VSSN research conference in September provides a great opportunity to present your own research in a supportive setting. It’s free to attend and 300-400 word abstracts should be sent to  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it by the 30th April 2012.

Speakers announced for volunteering and social mobility event
Full details of the speakers for our forthcoming seminar with the ESRC and Northumbria University are available on the events page of our website. Please note that the date has changed to the 24th April.

Free seminar on volunteering and social mobility
Our next seminar, organised withNorthumbria University and the ESRC, will take place on 27th March in Newcastle and will examine the extent to which a relationship between volunteering and social mobility exists. To find out more please visit the events page of our website.

IVR on twitter
You can now follow IVR on the twitter account IVRtweets. We will be regularly updating our followers with news of our latest research and events, as well as reports and news from elsewhere in the sector.

New research into participation published
Today saw the launch of the Pathways through Participation project, a two and a half year project exploring how and why people participate in their local communities. The full report, a summary report and further papers are now available at www.pathwaysthroughparticipation.org.uk.

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