The voluntary sector in Wales employs approximately 59,000 people in the health and social care sector*, with many more acting as volunteers. Altogether, 25% of WCVA member organisations provide care and support services to the community in roles such as making home adaptations, transporting people to and from hospital appointments, and providing respite and/or end of life care.
WCVA’s Health and Care Project plays a vital role in supporting voluntary organisations across Wales by:
- Being a critical friend to drive improvement in policy and practice
- Advocating for sustainable investment in the sector to build capacity and meet demand for services
- Enabling the third sector to evidence its value and plan accordingly
- Connecting sector organisations to each other and the health and care system
WCVA’s Health and Care Project facilitates several networks that offer information, support and networking opportunities for the third sector and volunteers.
- The Voluntary Sector Health, Social Care and Wellbeing Planning Group meets four times a year to discuss issues about health and social care, and prepare for its biannual meetings with the Minister for Health and Social Services and her deputies.
- Helpforce Cymru is a network of partners working to raise the profile and the strategic role of volunteering in health and social care.
- The Wales Social Prescribing Research Network aims to improve the health and wellbeing of society through social prescribing research and evaluation. It’s a network of over 350 researchers and practitioners in Wales who are interested in social prescribing.
If you would like to find out more about these networks, or to become a member, please e-mail email@example.com.
LEGISLATION AND POLICIES
Within the area of health and social care, there is ground-breaking legislation and policy unique to Wales that voluntary organisations should take note of, namely the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act, 2014 and A Healthier Wales. The Social Services and Wellbeing Wales Act provides a legal framework to transform the way care and support is offered to adults and children in need. Find out more about this Act, the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act and others, by visiting our Legislation page.
‘A Healthier Wales’ is a Welsh Government policy document that seeks to shift services out of hospital and into communities and support people to live healthy, happy lives, ensuring they stay well at home. Read the full details on our A Healthier Wales page.
These two incredible organisations talk about the physical and mental health benefits of volunteering, both to the volunteers themselves and those relying on their services.
A look at the impact that hoarding can have and the impact that one volunteer with Holistic Hoarding, Kevin, has had on those he helps.
Helen and Christine of Cariad Pet Therapy talk about the huge difference that their dogs can make to long-term hospital residents.
How volunteer end of life companions at Aneurin Bevan University Health Board support families at their time of need.