All projects carried out by IVR are listed below according to the year which they were published. More details on all projects which are publicly available can be found in IVR's Evidence Bank.
Evaluation of the Caring Communities Count project
On behalf of Carer's Resource, IVR undertook a three-year evaluation of a project involving volunteers across Yorkshire to support carers, examining the impact they had on the quality of life and wellbeing of the carers and making recommendations for the on-going delivery of the programme. The project was funded by the Health and Social Care Volunteering Fund.
Evaluation of the Motor Neurone Disease (MND) Association’s Volunteer Network of Association Visitors
IVR, working with NCVO’s Charities Evaluation Services team, completed an evaluation of the organisation’s Volunteer Network of Association Volunteers, developing an outcomes monitoring framework and developing robust evidence to inform the strategic development of the network.
Evaluation and impact assessment of the People’s Museum model for co-production
In 2013 and 2015, IVR undertook an evaluation of the volunteering programme at Wardown Park Museum in Luton. Its focus was on the successes of the programme, the challenges identified, and the potential of the co-production approach to provide a high quality museum service. The museum received funding from Arts Council England to deliver The People’s Museum project and create a new, self-financing model that would secure the museum’s long-term future.The aim was to build a clear strategic plan for the museum’s co-production with strategic partners, volunteers, community champions, and other individuals.
Big Local is an opportunity for residents in 150 areas around England to use at least £1m to make a massive and lasting positive difference to their communities. In March 2014, Local Trust commissioned NCVO, IVR and the Office for Public Management (OPM) to carry out the national evaluation of the early years of Big Local. The evaluation assessed the impact and effectiveness of two key features of Big Local: the resident-led approach, and the support given.
Ex-offenders and volunteering
This project was a partnership between the Institute for Criminal Policy Research and IVR, and was funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation and Barrow Cadbury Trust. The project looked at young adults with offending histories volunteering. More than 80 people participated in the research, either in interviews, focus groups or workshops over a two year period. These included representatives of organisations working with ex-offenders and volunteer-involving organisations, as well as young adults. The research produced three separate briefings aimed at: young adults, volunteer-involving organisations, and resettlement organisations (which assist offenders and ex-offenders in the community):
- Young adults briefing (PDF, 260KB)
- Volunteer-involving organisations briefing (PDF, 170KB)
- Resettlement organisations briefing (PDF, 180KB)
IVR, in partnership with the International Observatory on End of Life Care at Lancaster University, received a two-year grant from Dimbleby Cancer Care and Marie Curie Cancer Care. We will investigate how good practice in the involvement of volunteers in palliative care services (which require direct contact with patients or their families) can help hospices deliver the services they need to, and effectively care for people at the end of the lives. The full report will be available shortly.
Volunteering for Stronger Communities
IVR received funding from the Big Lottery Fund for a period of three years to explore volunteering across England during the downturn. The qualitative research drew on more than 140 interviews with volunteers, organisations that work with volunteers and local authorities. The research was part of a wider project, Volunteering for Stronger Communities, that was led by NCVO and funded by BLF, and worked with 15 volunteer centres across England. A summary of research and the full research report is available to download:
The City Year programme is a well-established volunteering programme in the United States and is being launched in London in 2010 for an initial three years.
The programme consists of a year of full-time service which aims to give 18-25 year olds the ‘skills and opportunities to change the world’. Teams will be linked with six primary schools in Hackney, Tower Hamlets and Islington and provide one-to-one mentoring and run after-school clubs as well as supporting secondary school children in volunteering and promoting community volunteer days.
In 2010 IVR was commissioned to undertake the first evaluation of the work of City Year, over the first three years of its life within the UK.
- Evaluation of City Year London programme: Year 3 interim report (May 2013)
- Evaluation of the City Year London Programme: End of Year 1 Report
- Evaluation of the City Year London Programme: End of Year 1 Summary report
- Evaluation of the City Year London Programme: Year 2 Interim Report
- Evaluation of the City Year London Programme: Year 2 Report
- Evaluation of City Year London programme: Year 3 report (Dec 2013)
Innovation in Giving Fund Volunteer Centre Programme
In 2013 eight Volunteer Centres were awarded with coaching and funding of up to £50,000 through the Cabinet Office Innovation in Giving Fund, for the period April to December 2013. The funding supported them to develop and grow innovations in their work over the course of a year, aiming to support them to develop and test new approaches to increasing volunteering; and for the centres to work in new ways. Working with Nesta, who managed the Cabinet Office fund, the Institute for Volunteering
Research followed the Volunteer Centres during this period to record their experiences and learn from their good practice – this report presents the finding and learning.
Evaluation of the work of the Free Time Consortium
The Free Time Consortium (FTC) commissioned the Institute for Volunteering Research (IVR) to evaluate its delivery of the Social Action Fund programme: Get Involved In Play, Love Outdoor Play, FTC Hub. FTC programmes supported by the Social Action Fund aimed to collectively promote volunteering opportunities and social action around play spaces and provision, and to encourage and support children and young people to play out more often. The evaluation found that while the partner organisations had considerable previous experience of involving volunteers, the funding allowed them to develop it strategically at a new level. Crucially, understanding of volunteering was widened, with organisations developing a broad range of social action activities, attracting a diverse range of people.
The evaluation also identified a wide range of benefits for different stakeholders. The strongest impact was experienced by the volunteers themselves, who gained new skills and saw their confidence and self-esteem develop. The wider community also benefited from improvements to the quality and quantity of play spaces, more opportunities to play, changed attitudes to play, and, in some cases, a renewed sense of place in the local community.
vInspired commissioned IVR, in partnership with the University of Birmingham (Third Sector Research Centre and Institute of Applied Social Studies) and Volunteer Development Scotland (VDS), to evaluate the impact of its cashpoint programme. The programme made awards of £500 to young people aged 14-25 years to set up social action projects across England and Scotland, to tackle any social issue identified by the young person. The evaluation explored the impact of this programme and the model of providing young people with funding to lead social action projects.
Impact assessment of the Investors in Volunteers Standard (NCVO, Volunteer Scotland, WCVA, Volunteer Now)
IVR was commissioned to examine the impact of Investors in Volunteers (IiV) on organisations in order to help develop the award strategically and sustainably in the future. The assessment included a survey of award achieving organisations (36% response rate - 141 respondents from 392 valid email addresses) and eleven in-depth follow up telephone interviews. IiV is the UK quality standard for organisations that involve volunteers in their work.
Read the Impact Assessment summary report (PDF 254 KB) which offers a brief summary of the headline findings.
With project funding from Nesta, IVR and NCVO undertook research to explore the opportunities and challenges that micro-volunteering presents for individuals and organisations, in order to inform and improve policy and practice. The research used a multi-phase methodology, including an evidence review, expert interviews with volunteering infrastructure bodies, policy makers, and volunteering researchers, focus groups with non-volunteers, a workshop to map trends and drivers, and case study research and on-going support with ten organisations.
The work published a literature review, a summary and full report, and a good practice guide for organisations looking to develop micro-volunteering opportunities.
The REVEAL project –funded by the European Commission – set out to develop the skills base of volunteers and volunteer managers across Europe, through the development of an innovative and multi-lingual self-assessment tool and training courses. The project was run by a consortium of six European partners including Croatia, Italy, Romania, Spain, Sweden and the UK (represented by IVR). IVR led on research to identify the most appropriate set of skills for volunteers and their managers in the areas of planning and management; financial management, communication, public relations, and public speaking; and HR management and volunteering management.
In the summer of 2012 the Prime Minister announced an independent review into youth social action, conducted by Dame Julia Cleverdon and Amanda Jordan OBE. Following consultation, they published interim recommendations in 'In the Service of Others'. In 2013, Dame Julia Cleverdon and Amanda Jordan OBE developed a new collaboration across sectors and between research organisations, supported by a Cabinet Office secretariat and the Minister for Civil Society, to deliver a framework which would enable effective communication between young people, social action providers, educational establishments and employers in the first instance. A Framework Advisory Group, drawn from representatives across the voluntary, business and education sectors, worked together to develop this Quality Framework: the work was led by IVR and the Young Foundation. IVR focused on achieving a shared definition of social action, supported by a set of six quality principles, while the Young Foundation developed an easily understandable outcomes framework.
Support needs for volunteering within the health, public health and social care sector (Department of Health)
On behalf of the Department of Health, IVR undertook a research project to critically review the support available to smaller volunteer-involving organisations throughout the health, public health and social care sector. We worked with five case study organisations to explore these issues, interpreting the type of support broadly, from direct funding to advice and guidance.
Developing a volunteering research strategy for Scotland (Volunteer Development Scotland)
Drawing on a long history of collaborative work with Volunteer Development Scotland (VDS) and extensive knowledge of the volunteering research landscape, the Institute for Volunteering Research worked with VDS in its endeavour to develop a longer-term and more strategic approach to research into volunteering in Scotland.
IVR and Student Hubs undertook a small project to fill key gaps in the history of student volunteering and social action and locate its evolution in the broader context of nineteenth and twentieth century social, economic and political history. The work was supported by small grants from the Economic History Society and St John's College, Oxford.
Annual Return of Volunteer Centres 2012 (Volunteering England)
The Annual Return provides the most up-to-date data on the characteristics and behaviour of Volunteer Centres in England. Results from the financial year 2011-2012 will be published in early March 2013.
Reviewing volunteering in Scotland (Volunteer Development Scotland)
In 2011 VDS commissioned external research into current and potential levels of volunteering in Scotland. A sample of 1,033 adults were interviewed throughout Scotland during October and November 2011. IVR undertook secondary analysis of these results to draw out the key findings and implications.
Review of environmental volunteering (DEFRA)
IVR, working with Greensteet Bermen, undertook a rapid evidence assessment on behalf of DEFRA to assess and summarise the evidence about the attributes of environmental volunteering schemes that have successfully engaged local participants. The work had a particular focus on what makes a scheme more likely to engage groups that are under-represented in environmental volunteering projects.
Evaluation of the International Citizen Service pilot (DfID)
ITAD and IVR were commissioned by the Department for International Development to evaluate the pilot stage of this programme. The evaluation sought to explore whether delivery of the pilot has been successful, and to inform the scale up of ICS. IVR undertook fieldwork in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and India in 2011 and 2012. The final report is avilable to download here.
Impact Assessment for Three Rivers Volunteer Centre
This research explores the impact of Three Rivers Volunteer Centre in Hertfordshire. It focuses on the difference it makes to individuals, the volunteer centre, volunteer-involving organisations and the wider community.
BT commissioned IVR and Volunteering England to deliver and evaluate their Troubleshooter programme from January to June 2012. Working closely with colleagues in Volunteering England (including independent consultants as part of the team) who will delivered the brokerage elements of the work, IVR evaluated previous Troubleshooter events, coordinated an impact assessment framework and used this evidence to facilitate programme development.
IVR conducted a short survey through Orange's Do Some Good smartphone app to explore the characteristics of those involved in micro-volunteering, why people micro-volunteer and micro-volunteering's relationship with other forms of participation.
Training Matters: review of volunteer training provision (Samaritans)
IVR undertook a major review of the training provided to all Samaritans volunteers, which included a survey of more than 3,500 individuals. The recommendations have informed the development of a revised training model.
The VALUE Network facilitated the development of cooperation between universities and volunteering organisations in the delivery of University Lifelong Learning (ULLL) to volunteers and volunteering organisation staff. Findings are presented on a project website.
Review of evidence to inform the Natural Connections Demonstration project (Natural England)
IVR, with Volunteering England’s Policy and Information team, undertook a review which explored the role and scope of volunteering in relation to the Natural Connections Demonstration Project. The project aims to reconnect children with their local natural environments by stimulating both the demand for and the supply of services to support learning outside the classroom in local natural environments.
This two and a half-year project was led by NCVO, in partnership with IVR and Involve, and funded by the Big Lottery Fund. It sought to explore: how and why participation begins and continues; whether trends and patterns of participation could be identified over time; and what connections, if any, exist between different forms and episodes of participation and what may trigger movement between them.
IVR was part of an independent research consortium of organisations which was commissioned by v, the national young volunteers service to undertake an evaluation of the implementation, delivery and outcomes of its activities. The consortium was led by NatCen, and as well as IVR, the partners included the Third Sector Research Centre and Public Zone.
Volunteering and health: literature review on the evidence of impact and implications for policy and practice (Department of Health)
The review was conducted to inform the Department’s strategic vision for volunteering in health and care. The review explored literature in four key areas: health, public health, social care and the broader health and well-being impacts of volunteering.
Volunteering England was created from a merger of three organisations in 2004: the Consortium on Opportunities for Volunteering, the National Centre for Volunteering and Volunteer Development England. Student Volunteering England joined in 2007. A permanent home for the records of each of these predecessor organisations has been found at the London School of Economics (LSE) Archives.
This research study looked at volunteering by university students in England. While volunteering by students in higher education has a long history, this study fills a gap in the evidence about the nature and extent of student volunteering and the impacts on students and the wider community.
Voluntary volunteer managers (National Trust)
This project developed for the National Trust a framework for planning for and then measuring the impact of involving ‘voluntary volunteer managers’. The project also brought out general learning points from the Trust’s experience of using them so far.
IVR published the second edition of the VIAT in October 2010. Full details can be found at Volunteering England's website and they provide training and support in England, with Volunteer Development Scotland doing the same in Scotland, WCVA in Wales and Volunteer Now in Northern Ireland. IVR coordinates the updating of the accompanying website.
Volunteer management literature review (Volunteer Development Scotland)
IVR was commissioned to undertake a literature review on volunteer management. This work is part of the Volunteering Improvement Programme in Scotland that is funded by the Big Lottery Fund.
This research explored environmental volunteering in the South West of England (replicating similar research undertaken in the North East in 2008). The research identified a body of highly active and committed volunteers and raised some challenges regarding diversity of volunteers and the barriers preventing non volunteers.
Evaluation of the New Horizons Programme (Groundwork UK)
The New Horizons programme sought to engage young (16-25 year old) ex-offenders in volunteering opportunities and so inspire them to make a lasting change. IVR was commissioned to carry out a piece of Action Research over 18 months to evaluate the New Horizons programme. In particular any relationship between volunteering and levels of offending was explored.
The Olympics have sparked a new interest in volunteering while numbers of people getting involved are stagnating. The report looks at the barriers and also at the capacity of the existing infrastructure to develop volunteering to its full potential and more specifically to meet the requirements of 2012.
This research explores the impact of volunteering on student volunteers at Queen Mary, University of London. The project was commissioned by Provide, the university’s student volunteering programme. The project looks at the benefits of participation and the barriers to volunteering amongst students who are not involved.
Volunteer Centres in Leicestershire: their role in supporting the volunteer journey (Voluntary Action Leicester)
This research explored the ways in which Volunteer Centres in Leicestershire can and do support volunteers and volunteer-involving organisations at different stages in the ‘volunteer journey’. The research also identified good practice case studies and provided recommendations for maximising the effectiveness and impact of Volunteer Centres in enhancing the volunteer experience in Leicestershire.
This study explored the role of Volunteer Centres in supporting the link between volunteering and employability and was carried out between February and April 2009.
IVR undertook an impact assessment of volunteering within the NHS. The project provides evidence to senior managers, boards and trustees of the value of volunteering.
This research explored current levels of volunteering within environmental organisations in the North East of England.
This evaluation, completed in August 2008, measured and assessed the impact of the National Trust’s Working Holidays Programme on volunteers, properties and the National Trust as a whole.
This study was carried out in partnership between the Institute for Volunteering Research and the Institute for Voluntary Action Research between May 2007 and March 2008. The study’s key finding was that volunteering in these organisations is increasingly being moulded by external factors such as legislation, policy and funding programmes.
This scoping review brings together research and evidence on the impact of returned international volunteers. Specifically, it looks at the impact of international volunteering on volunteers themselves and on their home countries and communities when they return from overseas.
The study was undertaken by the Institute for Volunteering Research, with Carol Goldstone Associates and GfK NOP conducting the fieldwork. This study explored the capacity of organisations to involve and mange volunteers. It looked at the financial and human resources dedicated by organisations to supporting volunteers, and the roles and positions of those who manage volunteers.
This study was carried out by the Institute for Volunteering Research between May 2007 and March 2008. It explored issues of leadership within small, volunteer-led groups and the challenges associated with their growth and development.
Volunteering Hub final report
The Volunteering Hub was one of six national hubs of expertise formed in April 2005 as part of the national ChangeUp programme. This report highlights the main achievements of the Hub to March 2008 and considers the legacy of the Volunteering Hub activities.
An evaluation of the first year of its Education Volunteering Programme. The Education Volunteering Programme was launched in 2006 to support English Heritage's new Learning Strategy. The objectives of the evaluation were to evaluate the effectiveness of the first year of the Programme, to review its impacts and to make recommendations for its future development.
This report summarises the findings from the work and identifies key areas of learning and success for the initiative as well as guidance to other museums seeking to develop a ‘learning’ volunteer programme.
The MOVE Project by the European Volunteer Centre (CEV). IVR was responsible for the evaluation of the year long project which finished in September 2007. The project focused on the recognition of the skills and competences that can be gained through volunteering, stimulating a European wide debate.
A literature review of published and current research explores the image of volunteering in the media and the power of the media to influence people to volunteer. A survey of volunteer involving organisations and volunteer development agencies was carried out in March 2006 to explore the ways organisations are liaising with the media on volunteering issues.
During 2006/7 VAMU and IVR worked with two organisations with limited media experience to help them work better with the media to promote volunteering and recruit volunteers. This report reveals how they got coverage in the local media and the problems they experienced along the way. It also includes tips for organisations on issues such as how to make contact with journalists, how to evaluate media coverage and how to write a press release.
Volunteering in the National Trust
The National Trust commissioned IVR to undertake a survey of its volunteers in 2007, building on a previous exercise in 2004 and 1997. The survey asked volunteers about their experiences of volunteering in the Trust and the benefits of their involvement.
This report draws together the recurrent themes of the previous White Paper Choosing health: Making healthy choices easier (2004). Choosing Health is unequivocal in its commitment to push health promotion to the top of the agenda and produces a blueprint for a range of actions local agencies must take to get the ball rolling.
Volunteering in the natural outdoors in the UK and Ireland: a literature review (Countryside Recreation Network)
The Tomorrow Network has completed a piece of research on behalf of the Countryside Recreation Network (CRN) that explored volunteering within the natural outdoors throughout the UK and Ireland. This literature review was completed as part of this project.
IVR worked with colleagues in a number of European countries on a Leonardo de Vinci funded project to look at the ways in which volunteering can be assessed and accredited, both informally and formally. The outcome of the project is a self- assessment tool, which aims to help those volunteers looking to enter or return to the workplace to reflect upon their experience and skill development.
Evaluation of the Diana Award (Diana Award)
IVR evaluated the Award over a period of three years. It explored the effectiveness of the Diana Awareness Project, an initiative designed to raise awareness of the Award and increase the number of nominations. It also made recommendations for the ongoing development of the Award and explored opportunities for its consolidation over the next five years.
IVR worked with three museums each funded by The Baring Foundation to develop their relationships with volunteers. The three musuems have each worked in different ways to enhance volunteering. IVR was commissioned by The Baring Foundation to review the learning across each of the museums. Exhibiting Support... Developing volunteering in museums summaries the findings of the research.
This study explored issues of retention and succession planning in Further Education governance. It worked with nine Further Education colleges across England as case studies to explore the factors that could affect governor retention.
Risk and volunteering (Home Office)
Volunteering England examined the issue of risk management within volunteer-involving organisations. The project, which involved consultation with a range of stakeholders, including the volunteering sector, the insurance industry, and national and local government, aimed to improve the way in which organisations manage the risks associated with the involvement of volunteers.
Student volunteering in the Open University (OU)
This study explored current levels of, and attitudes towards, volunteering among its students in London, and potential ways in which the OU could provide support.
Volunteering in Museums, Libraries and Archives (MLA)
This research maps and evaluates the role and development of volunteers in museums, libraries and archives. It looks at a wide range of issues for the sector, including volunteer recruitment, barriers to volunteer involvement and volunteer management. The study builds on volunteering research undertaken in 2001 and assesses how volunteering in the sector has changed since this time. Download a copy of the report from the MLA website:
Alongside this piece of research an additional study was undertaken in the North East , commissioned by the North East Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (NEMLAC). This provides a more in-depth analysis of volunteering in the region and identifies the key issues for the North East specifically. Download the report from the NEMLAC website
Volunteering in the NHS
This work involves investigating the extent and nature of volunteering in one Primary Care Trust area, with the aim of mapping the extent and nature of volunteering within the health field beyond the idea of 'traditional volunteering' in service delivery.
- Download the report (MS Word)
IVR produced the draft strategy on behalf of NOMS in 2006. It was informed by a series of meetings with key stakeholders, including voluntary and community sector organisations, prison and probation staff and volunteers. NOMS put the draft strategy out for public consultation in 2007.
The 'Unlocking the Potential' programme aimed to diversify the volunteer base and to enhance the ways in which volunteers are managed and supported. The local Wildlife Trusts were involved directly in the programme, focusing on attracting different target groups of volunteers.
Diversity and recruitment of Further Education college governors (Association of Colleges)
IVR was involved in three pieces of research about the recruitment and diversity of Further Education (FE) college governors. Recognising the current lack of diversity in some FE governing bodies, the aim of the first piece of research was to understand more about the issues that currently limit diversity within college governance, and subsequently to provide a series of recommendations for future recruitment strategies that will help to address the issues. The second project aimed to explore understandings of diversity and ‘representativeness' among FE college governors and the ways in which these understandings shape the recruitment and induction processes. The two project reports can be accessed below:
- Attitudes to diversity among governors in further education colleges PDF
- Recruitment and Diversity among FE Governors – PDF
IVR conducted an evaluation of the ACiS project over three years. ACiS aims to extend the principles of Millennium Volunteers (MV) to secondary school pupils through two pilot initiatives; one run by Changemakers the other by ContinYou.
Hospice Study (Help the Hospices)
This study applied the volunteer investment value audit (VIVA) to volunteering in hospices alongside a second study exploring the future of volunteering within the hospice movement based on surveys of volunteers and paid staff. The two project reports can be accessed below:
- Volunteering in UK Hospices (A survey commissioned by Help the Hospices)
- The Economics of Hospice Volunteering (A study commissioned by Help the Hospices)
IYV 2001 Revisited (United Nations Volunteers)
IVR explored the developments that have occurred in the world of volunteering since the International Year of the Volunteer 2001, and the extent to which the UN Resolutions that followed from the Year have been implemented. The aim of the research is to prepare a report for UNV to serve as the basis for the official report back to the GA of the UN on progress against the recommendations set out in two separate Resolutions following IYV2001.
This project looked at the role volunteering plays in the transition from paid work to retirement. The final report was published during Spring 2005. The report's findings will feed into topical debates on how best to promote active ageing and active communities.
Evaluation of the Neighbourhood Gardeners Initiative (BBC)
The BBC Neighbourhood Gardener initiative was based on a US programme called Master Gardeners, in which volunteer gardeners are encouraged to take a short course and then run gardening projects for the local community. n evaluation of this programme was undertaken through the use of questionnaires, interviews and focus groups with a range of key stakeholders.
The project looked at the relationship between volunteering and social exclusion and concentrated on three groups for whom social exclusion can be an issue - people from black and minority ethnic communities, disabled people and offenders/ex-offenders.
Impact evaluation of student volunteering (University College London)
This impact evaluation explored the role of volunteering on students' employability and on the local community. As well as survey research, focus groups and telephone interviews have been undertaken.
Organisations in the UK and Sweden helped to pilot a range of tools such as pre-designed questionnaires which help organisations which involve volunteers measure the impacts of volunteering on volunteers, the organisation that involves volunteers, the people or things the volunteering aims to assist and the wider community.
The development of volunteering in Samara (BEARR Trust and Povolzhe, Russia)
The project set out to promote capacity building for developing volunteering in NGOs and small projects in Samara , Russia . A group of practitioners and researchers involved in volunteering and community development visited Samara with the aim of sharing British experience in the field of volunteering. IVR was involved in the development of a concept of volunteering relevant to the situation in Russia .
This research explores how people relate their volunteering to their faith. It reports some ways in which voluntary action is organised in different communities and connects to other communities and networks , both faith based and secular. It also looks at the issue of how the government is trying to engage faith communities as service providers in some of its community initiatives.
Volunteering within planning aid (Royal Town Planning Institute)
This is a study of volunteering within Planning Aid, a voluntary service offering free, independent and professional advice on town planning matters to community groups and individuals who cannot afford to employ a planning consultant. The study looked at the profile of volunteers currently involved in the scheme and the suggested ways of encouraging RTPI members to become volunteers and how to better support and involve volunteers in the future.
School Governors (DfES)
A report on under-represented groups as school governors has been published. The groups investigated were: people from black and other minority ethnic groups, young people, disabled people, lone parents, people on low incomes and people who are unemployed, and business people.
Investing in Volunteers (IiV)
IiV is a quality system being pioneered in four South London boroughs (the area known as Wandle Valley). In the same way that Investors in People scrutinises systems for managing and developing paid staff, IiV looks at how volunteer involving organisations can guarantee a quality experience for volunteers. The Institute worked with the Wandle Valley partners to provide an independent evaluation of the programme.
IVR was commissioned to carry out an evaluation of the Millennium Volunteers (MV) programme. The evaluation suggested that MV could be judged a success on a number of counts. At the time of writing, over 50,000 young people had taken part in the programme, over 10,000 Awards had been issued and tens of thousands of new volunteering opportunities had been identified. The evaluation also found that successes could be identified against each of the key principles of MV.
While much success has been seen in the involvement of first time volunteers and achieving a good mix of ethnicity, it was felt that the programme has some way to go before it could claim to be truly inclusive.
This project was established by The National Development Team, an organisation which works with people with learning difficulties, is engaged in some action research about supporting people with learning difficulties and mental health problems as volunteers. The project has European funding and will be looking to transfer lessons and good practice among European Partners.
Volunteering is a culturally grounded concept with implicit cultural references. The term conjures up certain images in our minds, with limited transferability. The Institute undertook an exploration of the implications of the dominant Western construct of volunteering.
The evaluation was undertaken in association with the Development Resources Centre in South Africa. IYV was celebrated in over 130 countries and a two-tier methodology has been developed to ensure a balance is struck between breadth and depth of coverage.