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A framework for volunteering in health and social care

Published : 04/06/21 | Categories: News | Volunteering |

Coming soon, an interactive resource to help the development of volunteering within health and social care services.

During COVID-19 we’ve seen great advances in volunteering in a health and social care context. Different organisations working together creatively and cooperatively, simplified processes of recruitment and induction for volunteers and above all, greater recognition (by decision makers and by the public) of the significant contributions that can be made by volunteers to health and social care.

To help sustain and further develop the ‘gains’ such as these, Helpforce Cymru has been working with Social Care Wales, Bevan Commission and Richard Newton Consulting, to produce a Framework for volunteering in health and social care.

A DIGITAL RESOURCE

This interactive digital resource explores six key questions around volunteering, from the perspective of four different ‘audiences’:

  1. commissioners/planners
  2. delivery organisations
  3. infrastructure bodies, and
  4. community groups.

It does not offer answers, but rather suggests areas for consideration when thinking about starting or developing volunteering services – whether in the context of public sector services or local communities.

Short videos are included in the framework, giving contemporary examples of where and how volunteering is involved in delivering or enhancing health and social care provision. There are also links to a range practical resources and evidence reports.

QUESTIONS EXPLORED

The six questions explored in the Framework are:

  • How do we involve volunteering within our service delivery?
  • How do we plan for volunteering?
  • Who should we work with to deliver volunteering within service delivery?
  • How do we manage and develop volunteering?
  • How do we measure the impact made by volunteering?
  • How do we talk about volunteering?

These were identified as common questions that are relevant across the range of perspectives, from service planning to delivery. The issues and relevant considerations in response to each question, however, are tailored to the different ‘audiences’.

UNDERPINNING RESEARCH

The framework describes, briefly, the co-productive process involved in its development, which included an online survey and numerous focus groups and interviews. Themes that emerged as priorities in these conversations feature prominently in the narrative of the framework.

An overview of current practice in volunteering for health and social care is given, together with an assessment of ‘where we are’ on a journey of increasing maturity.

The project has been funded by a Welsh Government coronavirus recovery grant for volunteering. A fuller report of the project and its recommendations will be available soon on the Helpforce Cymru webpage, along with the framework resource itself.

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