Developing a volunteering strategy for Norfolk

Voluntary Norfolk, on behalf of the Empowering Communities Partnership, is leading a process to develop an over-arching strategy for community volunteering in Norfolk that is relevant for the post-pandemic era.

The purpose of the strategy is to create a statement of principles, aims, values and good practice that stakeholders and the VCSE sector can endorse. It will reflect the many recent changes that have impacted on volunteer engagement. It will also provide guidelines on how the sector can support a wide and diverse range of volunteers to be their most effective and fulfilled.

Lucy Hogg, Director of Voluntary Sector Infrastructure, commented: “There has never been a volunteering strategy for the county. The last few years have shown us that we can achieve more when we work in partnership. Having a shared statement of intent is key to enabling the vital work of volunteers in communities who support so many of the day-to-day aspects of our lives and provide help and support to the most vulnerable.

“We have witnessed so many changes to society over recent years. We’ve seen everything from the sharp increase in the use of technology for remote working, to the toll on mental health of isolation and anxiety, and the stepping back of many long-term volunteers.  It is timely for us to establish a clearer picture of the motivations, rewards, and barriers to participation of volunteers. And to create a strategy that helps the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector to attract and support new volunteers, and to thrive.”

Next steps

To inform the strategy individuals and VCSE organisations are being asked to complete an online survey. This will be live from Wednesday 28th September until Monday 7th November on these links:

The survey will gather information, experiences, and attitudes from current and former volunteers. It will also ask those who have never volunteered. It will also find out how organisations are approaching the impact of recent changes. And there will be consultation workshops across the county to have more in-depth discussions about the key issues.

The draft strategy will be shared with the sector at the Annual VCSE Conference on 25th November. Afterwards it will go to Norfolk County Council Cabinet for endorsement.

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