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Involving volunteers in Wales? Are you connected?

Published : 07/06/21 | Categories: News | Volunteering |

Our volunteering team explain more about the volunteering networks in Wales, the benefits of getting involved and how to join.

This Volunteers’ Week, as we celebrate the thousands of volunteers that contribute to our communities and environments in Wales, we also want to recognize how being connected benefits them.

Third Sector Support Wales is the network of support organisations for the whole of the voluntary sector in Wales. It’s made up of WCVA and the 19 local and regional County Voluntary Councils (CVCs). There are also a number of networks for individuals and organisations in the field of volunteering and volunteer management.

There is the Volunteering Wales Network (VWN) which is a network for national and regional strategic leads from volunteer-involving or volunteer-promoting organisations in Wales. This network aims to be a strong, collaborative voice to influence policy and improve practice in volunteering and volunteer management. It’s also the representative network for volunteering, contributing to the Third Sector Partnership Council (TSPC) – the space for connecting the voluntary sector with the Welsh Government.

As part of the VWN network there is the Volunteering Wales Youth Network (VWYN) sub group which aims to champion and advocate for youth voice and issues related to young people. The aim is for them to be considered in discussion and decisions related to broad and specific volunteering policy and practice. This network welcomes volunteers and staff that work with young volunteers and those that have strategic influence.

For more local or regional staff or volunteers, many of the CVCs in Wales host local Volunteer Manager Forums which gather and share local insights and learning and feed into the above networks via CVC representatives.

BENEFITS OF JOINING A VOLUNTEERING NETWORK

By joining one of these networks in Wales, you will gain:

  • An opportunity to influence policy and practice developments in volunteering in your locality, region, or Wales (and beyond).
  • Access to a network of volunteering experts.
  • Opportunities to collaborate and share learning through network meetings and access to an online forum for national network members.
  • Participation in national and / or local volunteering campaigns.
  • Relevant, regular communications about training, events, funding, and good practice.

WHAT WILL BE EXPECTED FROM YOU

All of our networks aim to have a mutual benefit. As a network member we would encourage you to:

  • Attend the virtual and/or in person meetings regularly to keep your self up to date on the activity of the network.
  • To share your experiences, learning and challenges so that you can help other network members. These shares could be at network meetings, through online forum spaces or other selected forms of communications, such as good news stories, blogs, research, or reports.
  • To join subgroups and working groups on topics that interest you.
  • To welcome and support your fellow network members.

GET CONNECTED NOW

If you are a strategic lead in a national or regional volunteer involving organisation operating in Wales, you could join the Volunteering Wales Network.

If you are a strategic or operational lead working or volunteering to engage young volunteers, you could join the Volunteering Wales Youth Network.

To join either of these contact Felicitie Walls, Volunteering Manager for more information at fwalls@wcva.cymru (our next round of volunteering networks will be taking place this summer – get in touch soon to join us!)

If you are a local or regional staff member or volunteer seeking to connect locally – join your local Volunteer Manager Forum by contacting your local CVC. The full list of CVCs in Wales can be found here.

Let’s make a bigger difference together.

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