This is the June 2016 e-briefing from VANEL.
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Voluntary Action

e-briefing from Voluntary Action North East Lincolnshire
June 2016 - the Volunteers' Week edition

It's Volunteers' Week !

1-12 June this year is an elongated Volunteers’ Week and we’ve focused this newsletter on all things volunteering.  This will be the first of a new format e-newsletter from VANEL which will be published every quarter rather than every month.  Our weekly e-bulletin roundup of VANEL, members and local voluntary sector specific news will continue to drop into your inbox every Friday, but from now on expect special, focused quarterly e-newsletters around June, September, December and March.

As this goes to press we’re in the middle of a very busy Volunteers’ Week, so we wanted to share a few highlights with you.  It’s also worth noting that over the past month or so we at the (recently reaccredited) North East Lincolnshire Volunteer Centre have seen a large increase in the number of volunteers we have been engaging with.  It would be interesting to try to understand whether this is a result of what we are doing – engaging with you as member and volunteer hosting organisations, with our communities and being ‘out and about’, or whether it’s to do with the opportunities and campaigning that is currently being promoted locally (Volunteers’ Week, V:EXPO, Armed Forces weekend and so on). Maybe it’s just the weather?  However it comes about, it is always encouraging to meet volunteers and prospective volunteers and to help them in their hunt for opportunities.  That’s what Volunteers’ Week is about, so read on to find out more…

V:EXPO 2016

For a second year, Lincolnshire showground was the venue for V:EXPO at the start of Volunteers’ Week. This year over 130 delegates from across Lincolnshire were in attendance and the whole event was a great success.

The event combined a number of key note and guest speakers, a number of workshops and a general opportunity for those gathered to learn with and from each other.

Key Note speakers were Neil Cleeveley from NAVCA and Karl Wilding from NCVO with guest speaker Nicola Thurbon from Big Lottery Fund.  VANEL staff were actively involved in the event with Jacky Birkett hosting a workshop, and we were joined by a number of volunteer managers from both North East and North Lincolnshire.  Thanks to everyone who attended.

The future of the Voluntary Sector was one theme discussed by. According to Neil Cleeveley “It’s about changing the way we think, so we have each other at the centre of what we do.” Karl Wilding asked, “What’s going to change our world over the next 5 years?”

We are all aware of the need to move forward and change our services based on the demand of those we are working with and funding, but when we really think about it, how often can we honestly say that we move away from our comfort zones and think about delivering services aimed to benefit what the future will look like?

Another point discussed was that the language of volunteering does not match current perceptions of volunteering. After all volunteering is something that “little old ladies with their blue rinses” do, but social action is the activity that younger people are more likely to participate in. So what is the difference between volunteering and social action? I think that this image sums it up nicely:
This image and thought was taken from Karl Wildings presentation (which you can find here).

To add some fun and interaction to the day Anglian Water attended the event with their Mad Scientists and entertained delegates over lunch time with demonstrations of what not to do to your toilet. They also sponsored a subsidised photobooth, provided by Perfect Momento Photobooth, so that delegates could celebrate their volunteering and support of volunteers through images.

Julia Sethi from Friendship at Home had this to say about the day – “As an introduction to the Volunteering Greater Lincolnshire, the V:Expo event was invaluable.   From a Networking point of view it was great to meet other volunteer managers and find out the work that is being done in the Greater Lincolnshire area.   The speakers were of a very high standard and the workshops were engaging and informative.  The overall organisation was excellent, and the venue ideal for the day.  Looking forward to next years!”

There is still a website dedicated to V:EXPO at and whether you attended or not you can find information about the event, a complete gallery of images from the day, and importantly, downloadable versions of all the main presentations and workshops from the event.  Hopefully something will prove interesting and useful to you.

Thank you very much to all attendees, everyone who helped in the organisation, and to local sponsors of the event.  See you at V:EXPO 2017.

North East Lincolnshire Volunteer Centre awarded national accreditation

The North East Lincolnshire Volunteer Centre hosted at VANEL in Grimsby has received formal re-recognition for its work as a Volunteer Centre by being awarded Wave 4 Volunteer Centre Quality Accreditation by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations.

Volunteer Centre Quality Accreditation (VCQA) measures a Volunteer Centre’s ability to deliver its services to a high standard and create a local environment in which volunteering can flourish.

The standard recognises the North East Lincolnshire Volunteer Centre’s achievements in matching people who want to volunteer with organisations who can use their help and advice, promoting volunteering, and helping local charities and other organisations to involve volunteers in their work,

VANEL says: “We are delighted that VANEL has once again achieved Volunteer Centre Quality Accreditation and are proud that NCVO believes we’re providing a high-quality service.

“We had already held VCQA accreditation for the past three years, but the accreditation has been evolving so being assessed under the NCVO Wave 4 framework has been a valuable exercise to confirm that we continue to work effectively in our support for volunteers.

The North East Lincolnshire Volunteer Centre is one of over 200 Volunteer Centres across England. The VCQA assesses each Volunteer Centre against five key areas: strategic development of volunteering, good practice development, developing volunteering opportunities, voice of volunteering and volunteer brokerage.  The North East Lincolnshire Volunteer Centre was pleased to be able to fully meet the standards required in each of these areas.

“We’re always keen to speak to people about volunteering, so can find out more by giving us a call on 01472 231123, emailing, visiting the website at or visit our Facebook page ( ).

Read this story online

It's Volunteers' Week !

So this is the longest Volunteers’ Week ever (stretching to 12 days rather than 7 to encompass the Queen’s birthday celebrations).  And across the country organisations and volunteers are celebrating both the week itself and the volunteers themselves that make it all happen.
VANEL staff have been out and about too this week attending or hosting events, meeting volunteers, handing out certificates and taking a lot of photographs!  If you follow Social Media then you’ll also catch site of just how much is going on this week across the country.  (The website/tumblr blog is at and the hashtag #volunteersweek is the place to follow on Twitter).

Across North East Lincolnshire there have been a number of volunteer focused events held by various groups, and VANEL has managed to pop up at a number of them.  Great to see so many organisations taking such an interest in volunteering and thanking their own volunteers so publicly.

This months VANEL e-newsletter is staying focused on volunteering, so keep reading for more updates of things we’re involved with or doing that relate to volunteers week and volunteering.

In the meantime, here are a few photos from the fun we’ve had at Freeman Street Market, in our Photo Booth, or just whilst we’ve been out and about…

Beach Clean up during Volunteers' Week

Volunteers are involved on 8th June in Cleethorpes on a Beach Care day organised in acknowledgement of World Oceans Day through a number of partners including Keep Britain Tidy.  VANEL helped to support this beach clean-up experience as part of our work with Anglian Water. 

What we’ve learned (so far)…

We’ve been collecting feedback from volunteers over the past couple of months as part of our ongoing Northern Lincolnshire Volunteering Audit which the Volunteer Centres in VANEL and VANL are collaborating on.  The survey is still open for feedback, but we’ve already learned some interesting things…

- 47% of our responder’s volunteer for more than one organisation
- Incredibly 20% of responders have been involved in volunteering for more than 25 years!
- We asked if responders would recommend volunteering to their family and friends. 96% said they would!
- when asked about the benefits of volunteering, 91% say that volunteering is personally rewarding, with 79% agreeing that volunteering helps you to develop new skills.  Many other benefits were also covered.
- and to date, the most popular are of volunteering is supporting people (such as befriending and mentoring, with retail and cultural volunteering coming in 2nd and 3rd places.

We’re still getting in responses but we’d like more.  The more we learn from volunteers, the more we will be able to tailor our delivery, support and services going forward.

Volunteers can fill in the audit online (here) or contact the Volunteer Centre to get paper copies of the audit (via

Supporting Volunteers Award

It’s over three years now since VANEL first introduced our Supporting Volunteers Award (SVA) scheme.  Over 70 organisations in North East Lincolnshire and North Lincolnshire now have SVA level 1 or level 2 certification to demonstrate their good practice competence in hosting volunteers.

Over the past year the SVA accreditation process has been changed and upgraded to reflect our experiences when working with groups going through the process.  This month we’re very pleased to announce that the NAViGO Dementia Engagement Project based in Grimsby has completed and passed the accreditation process for SVA level 2.  Well done to Kelly Moore who heads up their scheme and of course to all the volunteers at the project who contribute their time and effort.

At SVA level 2 the hosting organisation needs to demonstrate a level of competence and robustness in 12 different Standards, the evidence for which is then also reviewed directly with the volunteers at a discussion which allows us to hear directly from the volunteers that their experience is as good as the organisation tells us it is!

The Dementia Engagement Project started in 2014 and is now hosting 25-40 volunteers each month.  They previously obtained SVA 1 at the start of the project and we were really pleased to see how their project (and the volunteering experience) has developed and to be able to award them SVA level 2 this time around.  Congratulations again.

If your organisation hosts volunteers and is interested in starting with SVA level 1, or extending to SVA level 2 then please get in touch with VANEL  via or direct to Jacky ( or Karl (  We can discuss what you need to do to prepare and the current pricings.

Your Trustees are Volunteers too

Don’t forget to acknowledge your trustees and committee members this Volunteers’ Week – after all they are some of your most valuable volunteers…

Often Trustees and Committee Members are overlooked in their volunteering role.  They have great responsibility and often have a legal status within your organisation – yet they receive no payment for their role and are still giving their time freely to your organisation as volunteers.
So why not use this week to say thank you to them?

At VANEL we’ve taken the opportunity ourselves to say thank you, and we’ve managed to embarrass our Trustees with a little acknowledgement of their time, effort and support (see photographic evidence below!)
VANEL always champions the role that Trustees and Committee Members play in the good and effective governance of our local organisations.  And we now circulate our monthly e-newsletter called “The View from the Top” which covers all things governance and leadership related to those interested in learning more in that role.  So if your organisation is either a Member or Friend of VANEL, then each and every one of your trustees, directors or committee members can join our “Trustee Network” in order to receive the monthly e-newsletter as well as gain access to our online resources and support around governance.  If you/they are not already receiving it then contact Karl Elliott at VANEL ( to be added to the list.  Our next issue is due out next week.
VANEL also offers a range of training and support for trustees that you might want to take advantage of.  Contact us to discuss your needs, take a look at or follow our new Twitter account @aboutgovernance.  In particular we’ve got two courses coming up soon…

“Technology and Trustees” on 15th June
A workshop to help boards and trustees understand the impact of technology and how to make the most of it for the benefit and development of their charity or organisation.
“Induction and Refresher Training” on 19th July
An introduction to the roles and responsibilities of trustees for both new trustees and those wishing to update or refresh their understanding.

Further details about both courses will be published soon or contact Karl at VANEL to discuss (

Volunteer Training courses

If you manage volunteers for your organisation then you may be interested in a couple of training courses that we have now scheduled for the coming months.

“Being a Volunteer Manager” will be on Monday 11th July
“Recruiting and Retaining Volunteers” is Monday 1st August

Jacky Birkett will be running these two full day sessions at VANEL offices in Grimsby.  Much more information about timing, cost, contents and so forth will be published very soon.  But if you are interested, put the dates in your diary and feel free to contact us (via or to register your interest.

Keep an eye on the VANEL website or @vaneltalk or for more information.

Volunteer Managers Network

The next meeting of the North East Lincolnshire Volunteer Managers Network will take place soon on Monday 20th June.  Further details about time and place and agenda will be available shortly.  If you are on the mailing list and a normal/regular attender of the Network then Liz will be in touch shortly with your invite anyway.

If you don’t normally attend but your role involves managing volunteers, then you might find the Network meetings valuable.  Get in touch with Jacky or Liz via or 01472 231123 to discuss joining up.

LVC training opportunities

The Lincolnshire Volunteer Card (LVC) is a six module training course for volunteers.  Through the modules you learn to understand how your role as a volunteer works.  (Modules cover: Good practice standards in volunteering, Health and Safety, including personal safety, Safeguarding and confidentiality, Customer Care and Equality and Diversity, and Living Well.)

WebVersionLogo_Small1 As a volunteer, achieving LVC counts towards your ‘volunteer CV’ and shows potential hosts or your current host organisation that you know what you’re doing when you volunteer.  And for host organisations themselves it’s a way of inducting new volunteers, providing a refresher or a valuable training option to existing volunteers.

VANEL can deliver LVC training in North East Lincolnshire and places on the course are always free for the volunteers attending.  However, places need to be funded or subsidised either via host organisations or through sponsorship offers.  So if you are a volunteer interested in the training or you are an organisation interested in supporting LVC and getting some of your volunteers trained – contact us (via

At the moment however we do have a number of subsidised LVC places available.  If you are young volunteer (aged 18-25) and are volunteering (or looking to volunteer) in a leadership style role (perhaps leading a project, sitting on a committee, board or steering group), then our Young Leaders LVC places can be provided free.  If this seems to match what you need contact Karl Elliott ( to discuss.

Read more about LVC in general just here:

In other news...

Our weekly e-bulletin will continue to land in your inbox each Friday morning, but for now, here's a couple of pieces of news more directly related to Volunteers' Week.

Quarterly Confidence Survey

The 26th Voluntary Sector Quarterly Confidence Survey has now been published by the North Yorkshire and York Forum.  This report collates vital insights which help the North Yorkshire and York Forum to spot trends, inform local support work, influence politicians and agencies and generate media coverage.  Many of you will have contributed to the data collection for the report, but as always it’s a useful quick read for everyone in the sector.  Read more here.

Volunteer Awards

Nominations are now open for the 2015/16 Volunteer Awards organised by West Marsh Development Trust. This is your chance to nominate the volunteers that you work with who are shining stars.

These particular awards came about from an inspiration at West Marsh Community Centre – who themselves rely on and value their volunteers.  Having received support from a number of partners, the awards are now open ready for nominations and building up to an awards ceremony in September.

There are eight categories of award and anyone can nominate any volunteer.

For full details of the categories, how to enter and details of the September awards ceremony read our news article here.
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