I really enjoyed the experience as a World
Police and Fire Games Selection Event
Volunteer. I think the best of Northern
Ireland society came to the fore.
3. Volunteer Now Annual Report 2012/2013
Chairman and Chief Executive’s Report
Volunteering was most definitely on the agenda for 2012/13 with the volunteer Games Makers for the London Olympic and Paralympic
Games and the volunteer recruitment for the Belfast World Police & Fire Games (WPFG). These two major sporting events cannot run
without the involvement of a committed, enthusiastic and competent band of volunteers; 70,000 needed for London and 3,500 for Belfast.
Everyone had a positive comment about the London Games Makers and many people wished they had also taken the opportunity to
volunteer, to be part of what was a ‘once in a lifetime experience’. Volunteer Now was proud to give leadership to delivering the NI Olympic
and Paralympic Volunteering Strategy, promoting the opportunities across Northern Ireland, supporting the recruitment campaign and
helping with the five day selection event held in Belfast in April 2012. Our local Games Makers finished in London at the end of August and
were the first to sign up in September to be part of the WPFG in August 2013. This enthusiasm for volunteering was a very positive legacy
for London 2012. It seems to be a year of big numbers for over 10,000 volunteers registered for volunteering opportunities through either
Volunteer Now or the World Police & Fire Games.
For both of these major volunteering initiatives Volunteer Now was able to work across Northern Ireland and engage with all of the local
Councils who gave great support to endorsing, promoting and supporting volunteer recruitment. We also worked closely with one of our
regional partners Libraries NI to showcase opportunities and engage with local communities. These working partnerships are very important
to Volunteer Now as they enable all of us together to do more for volunteers and volunteering.
This annual report highlights the breadth of work undertaken by Volunteer Now in delivering an effective infrastructure support service that
underpins the promotion and development of volunteering, providing opportunities to volunteer, supporting the implementation of best
practice in volunteer management, sharing knowledge and information about volunteering. This all builds to deliver greater recognition for
the contribution of volunteers, more opportunities, and more people volunteering.
We continue to be indebted to a strong staff and volunteer team for their hard work and dedication. Thanks also to the Board of Trustees
who provide effective leadership in uncertain times as we await the outcome of the future direction for the volunteering infrastructure
regional and local. However, even when times are challenging, Volunteer Now remains committed to providing effective leadership for
volunteering. The work is excellent and this has been another extremely busy year and we appreciate the support of all our funders in
helping us to deliver our mission and activities.
Wendy Osborne OBE Joe McVey OBE
Chief Executive Chairman
5. Volunteer Now Annual Report 2012/2013
Individuals Connecting with Others and their
Our work is about helping people get involved in volunteering.
Over 10,000 volunteers signed up to volunteer through the Volunteer Now opportunities
database and World Police and Fire Games.
Over 2,670 potential volunteers received one to one support from our Outreach Support and
Community Engagement Teams to get the right volunteering opportunity for them.
We helped over 324 volunteer involving organisations to develop and advertise their
1,110 new volunteering opportunities, providing 14,494 volunteer placements, have been
developed throughout the year.
Volunteering information is available in everyday community settings through 157 access
points and links to Volunteer Now developed with organisations and groups in local areas in
addition to 98 libraries across Northern Ireland through our continuing partnership with
10 volunteering action days took place at which we facilitated and supported individuals, teams
and families to volunteer.
350 employees from 31 companies took part in the annual Be A Saint Action Day giving
support to 28 community and voluntary organisations to help with invasive species clearing,
room makeovers and community clean ups.
111 people from organisations achieved accreditation through Volunteer Now’s training
courses, including 20 people who graduated from our Effective Management of Volunteers
course accredited by Queen’s University Belfast.
We provided 403 volunteers with training.
We trained and supported six young people from our Millennium Volunteers programme to
carry out peer research on volunteering.
The social aspect of
volunteering is the
biggest single benefit
for me anyway
because I live alone…
It’s about getting out,
6. Volunteer Now Annual Report 2012/2013
helped me achieve
my goals, gain
meet new people
that will help my
Individuals Connecting with Others and their Community
We helped communities to support individuals with the digital switchover by recruiting, training
and managing 46 Digital Outreach volunteers who identified 1,351 Community Supporters.
60 volunteers, recruited in partnership with the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, helped make
the Irish Open one of the most successful sporting events of the year.
5,200 applications were received for volunteer roles at the 2013 World Police and Fire Games
(WPFG). 250 Selection Event Volunteers were recruited to deliver the interview process for
Games Time volunteers. 29 volunteers recruited for the WPFG Ultimate Firefighter test event
and 12 Emergency Eddie mascot volunteers helped with promotion of the Games.
We helped 68 people from 18 councils across Northern Ireland to become Games Maker
volunteers at London 2012 Olympic and Paralympics Games by providing bursaries, kindly
donated by councils, health trusts and the public and private sector, to help with the cost of
volunteering. Richard Chambers, Olympic Silver Medallist, met personally with Northern
Ireland Games Makers at Volunteer Now to thank them for their contribution.
Volunteer Now was a partner with the consortium, led by Cooperation Ireland, to deliver
National Citizens Service in Northern Ireland working with over 200 young people participating
in the first programme.
Volunteer Now was actively engaged in Neighbourhood Renewal Areas across 10 local council
areas supporting community audits, recruiting new volunteers for committees and community
410 young people, who completed 200 hours of volunteering as part of our Millennium
Volunteers programme, were presented with recognition certificates by the Minister of
Our Millennium Volunteers programme worked with 314 organisations (including 84 schools
and 21 GoldMark sporting groups) who have registered as delivery partners to involve young
people in volunteering across Northern Ireland.
We initiated a partnership between St Joseph’s Boys’ School Derry-Londonderry and Habitat
for Humanity to enable pupils and teaching staff to take part in a House Build in Romania.
7. Volunteer Now Annual Report 2012/2013
Reconnect, a new project to engage isolated older men in volunteering, was developed in
partnership with Belfast Charitable Society.
We facilitated 40 meetings of West Belfast 50+ and Greater Shankill Senior Citizens Forums.
750 older people attended information events we held and we facilitated an additional 156 to
attend four older men’s health and well being events.
423 older men enjoyed the craic and company of others by participating in 12 social events
organised by Volunteer Now and 70 older men took part in volunteering challenges within the
Volunteer Now hosted Dr Edgar Cahn, USA founder of Timebanking, and Sam Hopley, then
CEO of Timebanking UK, to showcase examples of Timebanks in action. We continued to
provide support to local Timebanks. Three organisations received small grants to develop
Timebanks in their communities enabling individuals to support each other through exchanging
skills and services from grass cutting, to providing a lift, to picking up messages.
We developed innovative ways for more people to get involved in volunteering by designing
eight taster sessions and 13 mobile volunteering sessions tailored for older peoples groups/
housing associations to take part in volunteering in Cookstown and Belfast; promoting 22
opportunities whereby people could simply Turn Up and Try volunteering and developed Match
Me so potential volunteers could advertise their skills to volunteer involving organisations.
8. Volunteer Now Annual Report 2012/2013
Supporting Volunteer Involving Organisations
Our work is about providing training, development and support to
enhance the volunteering experience for volunteers and
We provided 324 face to face meetings to support organisations with policy and practice.
Approximately 5,860 queries were dealt with in relation to volunteer management issues and
629 enquiries were responded to on safeguarding adults and children.
We developed films on good practice based on Investing In Volunteers indicators and our work
which featured Olympian Jonathan Edwards on the importance of volunteering.
3,734 people attended training sessions delivered by Volunteer Now across Northern Ireland
on Recruitment and Selection of Volunteers, Managing and Motivating Volunteers, Equality,
Diversity and the Law, as well as a new suite of programmes on Safeguarding Children and
Vulnerable Adults. An overall satisfaction score of 97% was achieved across all training.
There were over 20,000 downloads of good practice publications and information on
volunteering from our website and over 4,000 downloads on safeguarding.
We developed information sheets on topics such as Supporting Volunteer Management
Committee Members, Family Volunteering and on the new Disclosing and Barring
Arrangements to help organisations with good practice. Information and support was provided
on changes to legislation around working with children, young people and vulnerable adults.
Our key safeguarding publications Our Duty to Care and Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults - A
Shared Responsibility have been under review to incorporate changes in the law.
Volunteer Now supported Keeping Children Safe Initiatives in Northern Ireland and 15 people
were trained and nine people up skilled. As a result of our work there are 180 Keeping Safe
trainers (77 in NI and 103 in ROI) and 15 tutors.
A strategy was agreed for rolling out our newly developed Keeping Adults Safe training through
the Local Adult Safeguarding Partnerships and funding secured from the Health and Social
Care Board for coordination next year. We trained 10 new people in Keeping Adults Safe.
I really enjoyed my
learning and found
beneficial for our
on all areas.
On Recruitment and Selection of
10. Volunteer Now Annual Report 2012/2013
We provided tailored training and support to a diversity of organisations including Cats
Protection, Barnardos, Victim Support, Friends School, Irish Football Association, East Belfast
Community Development Association, Cedar Foundation, Rehability Antrim, Newry and
Mourne Council, Northern Ireland Assembly and St Vincent de Paul.
A programme of 10 training courses on Essential Volunteer Management for Youth was
delivered to a range of organisations working with young people.
We provided 998 hours of direct support to help sustain and strengthen volunteer led older
persons groups in areas of social deprivation in North and West Belfast.
Over 7,340 volunteer driving hours were provided by our volunteer driving scheme in North
Down and Ards providing 6,733 journeys for vulnerable clients.
1,033 volunteer hours were given to support socially isolated older people through our
volunteer led befriending programme and 40 clients were supported with practical help from
Volunteer Now’s practical services volunteer team.
We rolled out a capacity building project with five organisations to help them develop their own
volunteer transport buddying project to help their clients to gain the skills and confidence to
We supported many organisations to review or develop key documents including: Citizen’s
Advice Bureau Volunteer Strategy; Belfast Health & Social Care Trust Volunteering Strategy;
Early Years NI Volunteer Policy; City of Culture Safeguarding Policy; Northern Ireland Housing
Executive Safeguarding Policy, Befrienders’ Network Good Practice Guidelines for Befriending
and we worked with the Community Faith Forum to produce a Volunteering Strategy for their
We developed a template Employer Supported Volunteering Policy to help employers support
their staff in voluntary activities and we produced a A Funders Toolkit following work with
funders looking at what they need to consider when assessing applications that involve
Eleven organisations have achieved the Investing in Volunteers quality standard this year
bringing the total number of achievers in Northern Ireland to 60.
11. Volunteer Now Annual Report 2012/2013
Toolkit report has
been very useful...It
has also been an
alone asset for our
added value in the
form of volunteer
Our work is about sharing knowledge of volunteering and
providing evidence that informs policy.
We responded to 31 consultations to ensure volunteers and volunteering is highlighted
positively in public policy. These included the NI Assembly Commission Good Relations
Strategy 2012-2016; Charity Criminal Justice Review; Supervision Guidance (Disclosure and
Barring Service); Priorities for Youth and Transforming Your Care.
We produced 7 policy briefings on topics such as the volunteering as an alternative to a work
programme; volunteers in the private sector and job substitution; and volunteers in the criminal
We conducted seven surveys and five research briefings which included consolidation of
research on volunteering in Northern Ireland to give a clearer picture of what we know and The
Role of Volunteers in Social Enterprises.
We agreed a Charter on the Relationship between Paid Staff and Volunteers with the Royal
College of Nursing to promote volunteering in health and social care.
11 organisations have been supported to use the Volunteer Impact Assessment Toolkit (VIAT)
which helps them review their practice and demonstrate the contribution that their volunteers
We were commissioned, through DARD Rural Community Development Division, to design
methodology, analyse results and report on the impact of volunteering for groups funded
through the Rural Community Development Support Programme.
We have commenced work with the Inspiring Impact programme, a UK wide initiative to
influence how the sector views impact measurement.
Our expertise was called upon by Pilgrim Trust who asked us to carry out work on the impact
of volunteering on women offenders in Northern Ireland.
13. Volunteer Now Annual Report 2012/2013
Volunteering - I love
it! It feels right to
use my skills and
experience to help
others as long as I
am able to.
117 people, including 82 volunteers from a range of volunteer involving organisations and 13
council/elected representatives, attended the Reflecting and Projecting Volunteering Showcase
event held at Stormont to celebrate volunteering from the previous 12 months and look forward
to 2013, another important year for volunteering activity connected to the City of Culture, World
Police and Fire Games and the Balmoral Show.
As the Northern Ireland experts on volunteering we were represented on key bodies such as
the Review Panel for Ageing in an Inclusive Society; the Steering Group for Age Friendly City
Newry; Safeguarding Board for Northern Ireland Education and Training Committee; Northern
Ireland Adult Safeguarding Partnership; and Healthy Ageing Strategic Partnership. We were
invited to make a presentation to the Department of Culture, Arts & Leisure Committee on
safeguarding and the work of Volunteer Now.
14. Volunteer Now Annual Report 2012/2013
Our work is about demonstrating the benefits and impact of
volunteering in order to foster civic engagement and increase
We provided information at a great variety of events throughout Northern Ireland which gave
us the opportunity to talk directly to people about volunteering in a range of settings from
conferences to festivals, from shopping centre promotions to fairs/shows:
We promoted volunteering at 541 information/promotional events across Northern
157 information points were set up so that people from all walks of life could find out
about volunteering in doctors surgeries, leisure centres, community centres, local
businesses, shops, charity shops and council offices.
8,947 young people engaged with us at the 142 information stands we hosted in schools/
colleges, including fresher fairs, to promote youth volunteering.
7,500 young people heard one of our 189 talks given to schools/colleges.
We promoted volunteering to unemployed at nine jobs and benefits offices throughout
The role volunteering can play in pre-retirement planning was the subject of a session for
employers attended by almost 40 employers including staff from Translink, Grafton
Employment Group and Thales.
Thank you for the
resources - our
that they were
On Volunteers’ Week campaign.
15. Volunteer Now Annual Report 2012/2013
We developed and delivered six campaigns which enabled volunteer involving organisations
to raise awareness of their opportunities through regional promotion supported by local
Celebrating and Inspiring was the theme for Volunteers’ Week 2012, the national campaign
co-ordinated in Northern Ireland by Volunteer Now:
616 organisations across Northern Ireland took part in the Week.
156 charity shops representing 16 charities joined forces with us to promote volunteering
and the Week by displaying information.
MLAs publicly supported the Week by displaying thank you posters in all 64 constituency
offices and 20 councils took part in activities.
Student Volunteering Week February 2013
Student Volunteering Week promotes the valuable skills and experience students could gain
through volunteering. The theme for 2013 was ‘We don’t wish things were better. We make it
We engaged directly with over 4,090 students during the campaign.
We hosted 35 information stands and gave 12 tailored talks in all colleges and
universities across Northern Ireland.
We organised 18 volunteer taster sessions for students to try volunteering.
Unemployed and Volunteering
With rising unemployment figures, we continued to highlight the valuable benefits of
volunteering to people out of work in terms of gaining skills, experience and confidence:
We followed up research with Jobs and Benefits Office and Unemployed people
involved in last year’s pilot which showed the benefits of volunteering for individuals
Information sessions on volunteering were held in Jobs and Benefits Offices in
Enniskillen, Newry, Dungannon, Kilkeel, Larne, Carrickfergus, Newtownabbey, Antrim
and Ballymena and our youth team gave talks to young unemployed people through
training organisations in Downpatrick and Belfast and made similar links in Magherafelt
and Cookstown. We promoted volunteering at six Check It Out information sessions
hosted by Libraries NI in Craigavon.
17. Volunteer Now Annual Report 2012/2013
from the board to
shop floor. Action
Days have been great
for team building with
the added bonus of
making a difference to
a local cause.
Schools Out for Summer
Schools out for Summer highlights and signposts young people to volunteering opportunities
available over the summer months:
We developed and distributed six area specific Schools Out for Summer sheets that listed
local volunteering opportunities.
Volunteer involving organisations were supported to develop short term volunteering
roles suitable for young people aged 14+.
Christmas Connections aims to highlight short term and one off volunteering opportunities in
the run up to Christmas, this campaign, in its second year, continues to grow in momentum
47 organisations promoting 94 volunteering opportunities across Northern Ireland.
147 people registering for festive volunteering opportunities from hosting overseas
students, to Santa’s elves, to bag pack fundraisers.
The promotion of volunteering at Sharing Christmas Traditions Reminiscences and
Exhibition sessions held in Ballyclare Library and Derry Central Library.
Be A Saint – Volunteer Action Day
We hosted our annual employer supported volunteering action day in partnership with BITC
which connects local employers, private and public sector, to community projects for a day of
28 community, educational and environmental projects received help from volunteers with
clean ups, restoration, invasive species clearing and decorating.
Over 350 employees from 31 public and private sector organisations took part.
We achieved over £2.3 million worth of coverage in local and regional media throughout the
year. This sustained effort helped us to communicate how people can get involved, share
stories about volunteering which inspired others to get involved and recognises the work of
local volunteer involving organisations.
Our social media platforms continued to grow and in our first year we had 1,548 Facebook
Likes, 970 followers on Twitter and 1,328 YouTube views.
18. Volunteer Now Annual Report 2012/2013
was relevant and
factual. I now feel
more equipped to
carry out the role
Partnerships and Collaboration
Our work is about partnerships and collaborative working with
organisations from all sectors to develop volunteering and
enhance service delivery.
Partnership arrangements are in place with voluntary, community and statutory organisations
to enhance delivery of our services at a regional and local level including Volunteer Ireland,
Voluntary Services Overseas, Northern Ireland Tourist Board, Libraries NI, Age Belfast
Partnership, NI Adult Safeguarding Partnership and Sported. In addition:
We continued to develop relationships with Capacity Builder in respect of use and
promotion of online safeguarding information hub SAaRIH and North South Child
Protection Hub (NSPCH).
Partnership arrangements are in place with Volunteer Ireland to facilitate delivery of
Investing in Volunteers in the Republic of Ireland through our licence with training of
Assessors next year.
We continue to play an active role in the delivery of the Integrated Derry-Londonderry and
City of Culture Volunteer Strategy 2011-2020 and have seconded a member of staff to
the Culture Company for 2013.
We are working with all Health and Social Care Trusts in a regional forum to support and
157 access points for volunteer information and links to Volunteer Now have been developed
with organisations and groups in local areas and information about volunteering is available in
98 libraries across Northern Ireland through our continuing partnership with Libraries NI.
We have been working with employers to ensure and understand the valuable skills and
experience young people bring to the workplace through volunteering. As a result of our work,
employers such as Lear Consulting, Northern Bank, Belfast Media Group and BT all identify
Millennium Volunteers as a recognised programmed for gaining such skills.
On Volunteer Now’s Keeping
Children Safe: Designated Officer
20. Volunteer Now Annual Report 2012/2013
My experience of
Volunteer Now is
that it is prompt,
efficient and useful
- I have found the
service to be very
We worked with all 26 councils to endorse volunteering and encourage nominations of local
volunteers for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympics Torch Relay and applications were
received from all 26 council areas for the 2013 World Police and Fire Games volunteer
Certificates were presented to seven councils who signed up to endorse the value of
volunteering to community life as a legacy of the European Year of Volunteering bringing the
total councils receiving certificates to 20.
We were represented on the organising panel for the Mayors’ Awards in Lisburn,
Newtownabbey Council’s Volunteer Accolades, Larne Borough Council’s Community
Volunteering Awards and we are working with Castlereagh Council to deliver Awards later in
We secured agreement with Larne, Castlereagh, Newtownabbey and Belfast City Councils for
Unlocking Potential Older Volunteer Award.
We supported Newry and Mourne District Council in a review of volunteer policy and strategy
and an audit of volunteering of council employees.
We made a presentation to Fermanagh District Council members meeting and the council
supported a volunteering networking event for local organisations.
We worked with Newtownabbey Borough Council on the Zest Youth Zone project at Valley
Leisure Centres and the a Youth Arts programme in Ballyclare.
The Deputy Mayor of Armagh attended a recognition event for small grant recipients and
acknowledged the work of volunteers in the area.
The Mayor of Dungannon and South Tyrone District Council supported our networking event
for voluntary, community and statutory organisations in the Dungannon area.
22. Volunteer Now Annual Report 2012/2013
Buddy Service is
very useful for the
young people we
support - it’s a
good way to
inclusion in the
Funders and Supporters
Volunteer Now would like to thank the following organisations for their
support during the past year:
Building Change Trust
Belfast Health & Social Care Trust
Belfast Charitable Society
Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure
Department for Regional Development
Department for Social Development
Department of Health, Social Services & Public Safety
The Atlantic Philanthropies
The Public Health Agency
South Eastern Health & Social Care Trust
Youth Council for Northern Ireland
World Police and Fire Games Limited
Board of Trustees
Joe McVey OBE Chairman
Maire Young Vice Chair
Jenni Robinson (resigned 2 July 2012)
Tony Macaulay (appointed on 3 July 2012)
Quotations are from Volunteer Now evaluations and client comments.
24. Tel: 028 9023 2020
Volunteer Now delivers services across Northern Ireland. We have offices at:
129 Ormeau Road 34 Shaftesbury Square 70 Main Street Fermanagh House Ballybot House
Belfast Belfast Broughshane Broadmeadow Place 28 Cornmarket
BT7 1SH BT2 7DB BT42 4NJ Enniskillen Newry
BT74 7HR BT35 8BG
Supported by the Northern Ireland Executive through the Department for Social Development.
A full set of accounts are available on request.
Registered office: 129 Ormeau Road, Belfast BT7 1SH. A Charity (Inland revenue) No. XT22896. Company Limited by Guarantee No. NI602399.