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Helpforce Cymru

Working with Third Sector Support Wales, Welsh Government and others to develop the potential of volunteering in health and social care.

On these pages you will find information and resources to support volunteering in health and social care. For further details please contact Fiona Liddell by emailing fliddell@wcva.cymru.

Tools for developing volunteering

Building the evidence base

Strategic developments

Influencing change

About Helpforce Cymru

Policy context

Publications

Framework for volunteering

A title page for the Framework for Volunteering in Health & Social Care

During the pandemic more health and social care services have engaged with volunteers than ever before. Our Framework for Volunteering in Health and Social Care takes a system wide approach, exploring how to effectively involve volunteers – whether in hospital, residential care or community settings.

View or download

See also:

  • video message from Eluned Morgan, Minister for Health and  Social Services,
  • Blog  : Framework to ‘hardwire’ volunteering into health and social care
  • policy recommendations arising from the research (2021)

CHARTER FOR VOLUNTEERING AND WORKPLACE RELATIONSHIPS

Developed in collaboration with Wales TUC, the charter sets out principles for successful volunteering and positive workplace relationships.

Download the Charter

VOLUNTEER STANDARDS AND LEARNING RESOURCES

An information sheet outlining standards for induction and training of volunteers in health and social care. It includes links to online learning resources to support the standards.

You will need to register on the TSSW Knowledge Hub in order to access the information sheet.

Download the information sheet

See also:

BUILDING THE EVIDENCE BASE

DEMONSTRATING THE IMPACT OF VOLUNTEERING

Helpforce Impact and insight service can help you to improve your volunteering service and to prove its impact within health and care.

LEARNING FROM THE PANDEMIC

Two online events in March 2022 brought together the findings of volunteering research conducted during the Coronavirus pandemic. Some examples of new collaboration between organisations and sectors were showcased.

Download the report The future we create – lessons from pandemic volunteering

See also:

DATA GATHERING

WCVA has commissioned research to identify, gather and analyse existing data in order to demonstrate the value of volunteers, voluntary organisations and unpaid carers to heath and care in Wales. This will raise the profile of their vital contributions and provide evidence to inform public sector decision making.

Infographic: Wales’ Third sector and health and care – what we know. What we don’t know

An accompanying report will be available shortly.

INNOVATION AND PILOT PROJECTS

Helpforce Cymru works with Helpforce UK, supporting partner organisations to develop and embed volunteer interventions which achieve measurable health related outcomes. It supports evaluation, scale and spread of new or existing interventions.

The Waiting Well programme identifies and implements interventions that support patients during their wait for care and aims to reduce pressures on health organisations.

Related documents:

  • Role description for volunteers to provide a check in call with people waiting for an Endoscopy.

Volunteer to Career projects involve volunteer roles within a range of clinical areas, all having an identified outcome of supporting volunteers into careers within health and care. See how Aneurin Bevan UHB have embedded Volunteer to Career pathways within their general volunteering offer.

See also:

Volunteer companions in End of Life Care provide support to patients with a palliative diagnosis or those approaching end of life. Three health boards in Wales developed pilot projects in 2020-21.

Related documents:

ACTIVE, CONNECTED AND ENGAGED

Helpforce Cymru is supporting the Active, Connected and Engaged project (ACTIF), a randomised controlled trial of a peer volunteer-led programme. The research project explores to what extent volunteers can help to maintain activity in older adults, and whether investment in such a programme can bring about recognisable and justifiable benefits. South Wales is one of three pilot areas, along with West Midlands and Greater Manchester.

See the article Keeping active in later life in Public Health Network Cymru e bulletin September 2022

STRATEGIC DEVELOPMENTS

VOLUNTEERS AND EMERGENCY RESPONSE

British Red Cross led on a project, funded by a Volunteering Wales Strategic grant, to develop a framework to improve the coordination of volunteers and enable volunteer skills to be more fully utilised in responding to civil emergencies.

Download the report

See also:

VOLUNTEERING AND CARE HOMES

Helpforce Cymru has worked with Age Cymru and Welsh Government to develop a model for volunteering in care homes during the Covid pandemic. Phase two of this work is underway and includes supporting other organisations to develop volunteering in care homes.

Download the report and toolkit

See also:

INFLUENCING CHANGE

THE VALUES AND VALUE OF VOLUNTEERING

A paper on The values and value of volunteering – our hidden asset was prepared for and published by the Bevan Commission, in order to highlight the need for strategic investment in volunteering as part of our long term planning for health and social care.

Audio clips from the launch event:

A companion paper is currently being prepared on The values and value of the voluntary sector, for publication in June 2023.

Paper: Resourcing volunteering for community resilience in relation to health and social care, prepared for discussion with the Minister for Health and Social Services

ABOUT HELPFORCE CYMRU

 Helpforce Cymru began in 2019 with support from Helpforce UK, the National Lottery Community Fund and Welsh Government.

It is a network of partners working to raise the profile and the strategic role of volunteering in health and social care.

It is now funded by Welsh Government as part of a broader, three year Health and Social Care Project (2022-2025), led by WCVA.  The programme aims to:

  • Mobilise relationships, volunteering and support across the health and care system
  • Address priority challenges
  • Maximise the contribution of third sector organisations and volunteers towards health and care outcomes

For further information or if interested in joining Helpforce Cymru network meetings, contact Fiona Liddell, Helpforce Cymru Manager fliddell@wcva.cymru

If you would like to receive updates from Helpforce Cymru, join WCVA’s mailing list and choose the option ‘health and care volunteering’.

POLICY CONTEXT

A Healthier Wales and the Social Services and Wellbeing (Wales) Act embed principles of prevention, co-production, citizen involvement, collaborative working and innovation. They highlight the need for new models of working to transform and integrate our health and social services.

Read more

Volunteers may be involved in the design and delivery of services, in improving service user experience and in creating more holistic and integrated approaches. They have a distinctive part to play in public services, without duplicating or displacing paid workers.

There is a strong tradition in Wales of mutual support and volunteering. Volunteering enhances social capital and community cohesion as well as citizen involvement in the delivery of health and social care services. It fosters individual wellbeing, social inclusion and skills for personal growth and for employment. As such it contributes to many of our national wellbeing goals.

During the COVID -19 pandemic we saw how different partners can work together and how volunteering can make a vital difference to the wellbeing of our communities. Helpforce Cymru will work to ensure that volunteering is recognised and resourced to contribute effectively to Wales COVID -19 recovery plan.

PUBLICATIONS

CASE STUDIES AND ARTICLES

BLOGS

See WCVA blogs by Fiona Liddell Helpforce Cymru Manager

OTHER RESOURCES

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