TeamKinetic

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Tag: volunteering (Page 1 of 3)

Introducing TeamKinetic: James Carr – Could I be d’Artagnan?

Continuing our celebrations of #IVMD17 and the latest update to VolunteerKinetic 7.3, we’d like to introduce our newest addition to the team, James Carr.

Much like d’Artagnan, my journey began by setting out in search of a new beginning.

I was ready for a challenge, using my skills and knowledge to prove myself as capable.

My studies in Sport Management had equipped me with the theoretical knowledge needed and a handful of short-term internships had given me the practical opportunity to apply it. I enjoyed the dynamic nature of marketing, from understanding the needs of the target audience to creating strategise and analysing results. I also realised how important it was for me to believe in the company, its purpose and values.

When I was invited to an interview at a small business office in Manchester for the role of Marketing Coordinator, I knew such an opportunity had arrived.

Despite all my preparation, on the morning of the interview, my apprehension began to build. With clammy hands, a dry mouth and my collar feeling like it had shrunk an inch since setting off that morning; I eventually arrived at the entrance.

The moment I met the three men who greeted me I relaxed. Perhaps it was their warm welcomes, the light-hearted small talk or just the overall friendliness of these guys that made me so at ease. As we spoke I realised that their work was more than just a job. Collectively they were driven by the goal of delivering a product focused on: building better communities through volunteering.

Of course, those “three men” were TeamKinetic – Chris, Rolf and Steve!

Thankfully, our introductions skipped any duels! In a short space of time, I gained a real understanding of their camaraderie, the crucial role each played and the extensive knowledge that each possessed in understanding their client’s needs.

In the interview, I shared my vision for a  Boxing Club at the University and the story of how I turnt it into a reality.

I coached my club each week, drilling them on technique, fitness and skill. My success measured by the numbering regulars and increasing new members who turned up. I learnt the importance of organisation, communication and leadership.  My experience volunteering equipped me with skills I had never considered before, which I now hold to be invaluable.

Like me, TeamKinetic had their own vision. They wanted to enhance the ability of volunteers managers with a system that engaged volunteers, made their management simpler and more intelligent. Although they had already been working hard to make this possible, they needed someone to help market their brilliant product.

This was certainly something I could do. Thankfully, they thought so too!

Since settling into the team I have learnt so much more about those who make TeamKinetic possible. I have also had the opportunity to speak to some of their clients, who expressed how much they like working with TeamKinetic and their application.

Now my role is to support the company through marketing the great
service they deliver for the likes of Manchester City Council Council, Glasglow Volunteer Centre and Cardiff Metropolitan University.

With a real love of sport, volunteering and marketing, I am excited to begin this opportunity alongside everyone at TeamKinetic.

“All for one; one for all.”

James Carr

Marketing Coordinator

If you have any thoughts you would like to share, please feel free to contact me at:

james@teamkinetic.co.uk

Introducing TeamKinetic: Chris Martin – What has Volunteering ever done for me?

Volunteer Managers have reason to celebrate this week with International Volunteer Managers Day on the 5th November and TeamKinetic released their latest updates on VolunteerKinetic 7.3!

We decided to take this opportunity to introduce or remind our beloved Volunteer Managers of who TeamKinetic are. Throughout the week we will be releasing a series of Blogs on each of our team members, with their story in volunteering and TeamKinetic.

To kick things off, I thought I would write my blog first. My topic of choice:

What has Volunteering ever done for me?

As I start to write this blog, I’m reminded of the scene from Monty Python’s Life of Brian where John Cleese as the Head of the Judean Peoples Front asks what have the “Romans ever done for us?”, if you have never seen this before, please take two minutes to enjoy this clip.

It is often hard to see the impact of volunteering has whilst actively participating in it. At the time when I undertook my voluntary roles, it was to fulfil a specific need that was being neglected or because someone close to me would ask if I could help.

Only upon reflection can a true appreciation of volunteering and its impact be noticed. In both my personal and professional life, volunteering has built longstanding relationships, that I still value today.

As a younger man, I remember wondering how I would continue some form of swimming once I had completed my lessons. I wanted to keep the competitive aspect that I enjoyed but did not want to continue into highly regimented adult swimming club that was on offer. My options presented themselves as either hanging up my goggles for good or travelling excessively to join another more sociable club. Neither one did I find particularly attractive.

Instead, I wanted something at my local pool, where I could continue developing my ability, maintaining enjoyment and friendly competition.

It was then, I saw a need for a local water polo club!

My friend and I decided that we could run this together. So we planned a pitch for the pool manager and after successfully convincing him of the potential our idea, he agreed to give us a slot.

The catch, however, was that the only available slot was 18:00 -19:30… on a Friday!

At the age of 18, this would break into essential socialising time and we wondered if we could get the attendance we desired. Disregarding this constraint, we decided to go for it and accepted the time slot!

By no means was it an easy ride from there, as the club required a big commitment for two teenage lads, demanding time spent planning, coaching and running the club as a whole.

Of course, we enjoyed doing it, but I would be lying if I said it was always easy going, as sometimes it really could be a pain in the backside!

At times it took some real perseverance to push the club through but the next two years saw us build our club to the level we desired! Eventually, my time to leave for University came, but we had built a club that had gone strength to strength, continuing in existence today (twenty years later!).

With the benefit of hindsight, I can look at that experience differently now. I developed planning skills, interpersonal skills, worked out how to get things done within a public-sector environment, I developed relationships that I still use professionally and friendships I still value today.

Many of the benefits of volunteering cannot be effectively measured, certainly when I started my volunteering journey neither had I considered too.

But now, I think differently. These experiences helped me identify elements of social capital that before I had never considered, and now would never underestimate or value.

I went on to become a qualified Physical Education teacher and set up a business around sports coaching, this journey started at that water polo club, not through any specific long-term plan but to some extent, due to the direction of travel that was started with this experience.

For the last eight years, I have worked in the sector and have grown to appreciate how complex peoples’ motivations to volunteer can be. Often it is beyond the simple reason of being ‘fun’ that we give our time but in the knowledge that we are helping to make a difference.

Since founding TeamKinetic, these beliefs and experiences have driven me daily. We have made it easier to find and be involved in Volunteer opportunities, whilst making it easier to recognise hard work and commitment in a way that is engaging and simpler for organisations that depend on their amazing volunteers.

I hope you will join us on our mission to build stronger more engaged communities, and if you find yourself asking the question, what has volunteering ever done for me, you too, can tell your story about how it has changed your life for the better.

If you fancy having a talk please feel free to email or call me!

Thank you,

Chris

Sales Director

Chris@teamkinetic.co.uk

How you can turn every week into international volunteer week, and why you should!

International Volunteer Week is here again and for a brief period of time you are inspired to promote and publish your positive volunteer stories. This week you give thanks to all your wonderful volunteers via your social media channels and make gestures to those people that slave away day in day out, week in, week out for the love….helping to make your sport happen.

In the modern, professional world of sport with CEO’s and large work forces, it is easy to understand how a distance develops between the everyday member, volunteer, helper, parent and your organisation; as you as an employee are under pressure to hit targets, make money and grow your sport.

So how do you make every week, International Volunteer Week and maintain this feeling of goodwill to your valuable and dedicated volunteers throughout the year?

British Cycling’s Dave Brailsford talks often of marginal performance gains, the tiny differences between a successful team and a second place team. We believe that in organisations involving volunteers and the third sector, your biggest marginal gain can come from encouraging your volunteer work force to do more, to do it better, keep doing it for longer, and to gain more from their experiences.

So how can you do that? We have some ideas that we would like to share.

There are so many types of volunteer but they all share something in common; they like someone to acknowledge their hard work and say thank you.  Across a large organisation that can be difficult, how do you acknowledge the varying contributions they make? How do you even know?

To start with as an organisation you must look at how you are recognising volunteering within the senior management team and resource volunteering within your operational teams, do you have a person or persons with a responsibility for volunteering within your organisation at each level of management?

It starts from the top, is there an acknowledgement at board level as to the importance of valuing volunteers? Bearing in mind you’re a voluntary organisation!  That would be a great place to start.  We know that where volunteering is valued within an organisation’s culture you are much more likely to see amazing results.

Once you have some sort of volunteer management in place, you need to consider how you identify and recognise those people who are the “diamonds” for your organisation. These are the future volunteer leaders, those volunteers that operate over a wide range and number of volunteers and that inspire and mentor other volunteers.

To spot these volunteer leader candidates, develop a role in your organisation that examines your volunteer workforce. This role identifies the data and information you need to capture, and understands what motivates your volunteers and then uses that knowledge to facilitate and enable volunteer experiences that are fulfilling and rewarding. Read about our experiences in data insight and what we consider to be the most valuable data or take a look at the work of Join In.

It is easy for organisations to fall into the trap of offering great rewards and incentives, but the key is getting the right investment to the right people rather than spreading it too thinly across too many individuals. Incentivisation is part of a successful volunteer team, but you need to know what your return on investment is going to be. Who are you spending on? What do you expect in return? Are you investing wisely?   Having data on volunteer retention, cost per conversion, being able to map individuals pathway from starting out as a helper through to running a county executive or becoming a head coach. This data ensures that you remain focused on finding those “diamonds”.

Finally and we think most importantly you need to look at how you grow from a centrally administered and controlled volunteer programme, to one that is owned by the volunteers, clubs and participants themselves.  Any expanding and successful volunteer programme is partly the result of a ground swell of people from the bottom, not diktats from the top, you need to build volunteer leader infrastructure (by that I mean find great, motivated people and provide them with support, training and resources) that facilitates and enables your existing volunteers to help to offer more amazing, exciting opportunities to the next wave of volunteers. This is the virtuous circle of volunteer investment.

So to recap we think the most important things you can do to help your volunteer programme grow all year round is to;

  • Achieve an appreciation and acceptance at the very top of your organisation that values the investment volunteers make in your organisation. Value your volunteers.
  • Develop specific roles within your organisation who’s job is to collate your volunteer data and gain insight which can be used to improve your programme. Do not just collect key performance indicators.
  • Incentivise and reward volunteers all year round. Be smart, target rewards for best returns.
  • Identify, support and develop potential volunteer leaders. Leverage their experience and enthusiasm to spread your volunteer values.

Sport is known to be poor at retaining its volunteers, its time to move on from yearly gestures to look at understanding your rank and file stakeholders (not just members but mums and dads, siblings, and long standing supporters), what they want and how you can deliver to keep them engaged. We work with organisations to make valuing volunteers an important part of their culture and offer solutions that help with those issues outlined and encourage retention and development of volunteers. Our cloud applications, including VolunteerKinetic, provide an  easy to implement infrastructure that makes embedding good volunteer practice across your organisation simple.

I hope next International Volunteer Week I can write a blog where I talk about how we have move into a world where your volunteer is understood and is looked after as well as your CEO.

 

 

 

In response to the “Coaching and Volunteering Data Management Systems – Procurement Guidance For CSP’s.”

TeamKinetic welcome the guidance from CSP Network and wanted to take this opportunity to clarify our service and to share with you how we think our range of applications can provide a world class Volunteer and Coaching experience.

We are offering 12 months FREE usage of our system to all CSP’s as a no risk trial.  If at the end of the trial period you are not happy with our support or service, you can export your data in its entirety. For more information on starting your free trail and pricing please get in touch here.

What we do

logo VolunteerKinetic logo-ClubKinetic
logo-AccessK logo-CoachKinetic

Our system is not only limited to Volunteer management we also offer:

  • Coach management and agency support including tools for scheduling, payments, bookings, quality assurance and feedback.
  • An integrated database that allows for activity session and club sessions to be published, updated, searched and powerful communication tools to keep your clubs informed.
  • Accreditation and access management for events of any size, with badge creation, area access controls and on-site security.

We are actively developing more modules all the time for inclusion in TeamKinetic, our complete integrated package.

How far we reach

  • Our system is currently in use across the UK and has over 45,000 users registered.
  • Over 60% of those registered have been active in the last 12 months.
  • This year our users have already logged 27,564 hours
  • Last week our sites enjoyed 10,000+ page views

Who we work with

Our sports based customers include

logo_15 VOLUNTEERS MCC logo
Print BS Thistle 7 greatersport

 

We also work with a wide range of Universities, Hospitals, Charity’s and youth organisations.

What our customers say

“GreaterSport have been working closely with TeamKinetic over the past 14 months. TeamKinetic have been able to develop the system to suit our needs as a CSP, this has included upgrades so we can now manage both volunteers and coaches on the same system. Within Greater Manchester we have seen an increase in people volunteering with our APS volunteering score rising to 13.2% – we feel a lot of this is down to the management system as volunteering has never been so easy for the users. We would highly recommend working with TeamKinetic and are excited to see our volunteer and coaching workforce growing over the next 12 months.”

Nick Lowden

Workforce Development – Greater Sport

We have built our platform on the following principals.

The End User is the most important person in our world.

TeamKinetic is incredibly easy to use.  We believe passionately that less is more.  So we use data from the end user, what they search for, what they leave positive and negative feedback on, where they are, how many opportunities they view and what type of opportunities they are.  This provides insight and a more tailored experience for every user.  This IntelligentBrokering™ ensures every user is presented with information that is up to date and relevant.

Integrated social media, access via mobile device and the ability for the user to see and share opportunities with any one at any time.

We know you don’t like to send good people on bad experiences and we love to help you recognise talent and enthusiasm by;

  • Using anonymous feedback by both volunteers on opportunities and providers on volunteers
  • Giving volunteers ThumbsUp notifications for a job well done.
  • Rewarding both on line with achievement badges and in the real world with HourTrade™, those who go above and beyond

Its our aim and ambition to help you build a sustainable and strong sporting community of officials, coaches, volunteers and participants.

Support, support and more support

Information, data, and insight is excellent and indispensable, but it means little without the right support. We pride ourselves on our after care.

  • Monday to Friday – 9:00-5:00 telephone help line.
  • Online support ticket system for bugs and new features is always available.
  • Free access for customers to our yearly development conference in partnership with Manchester Metropolitan University, this year with speakers from DBS discussing safeguarding in recruitment, Step Up to Serve CEO Charlotte Hill and Geoff Thompson MBE from Youth Charter,  This year we are looking at Sports Volunteering in the current landscape of austerity. Book here.
  • Close working relationship with the Sports Volunteer Research Network so you can access a raft of academic research.
  • Monthly news letter that we like you to contribute to.
  • Partnership with the Sport and Recreation Alliance

Our products never stop improving and those improvements are driven by you our customers and the feedback you provide.

No Hidden Costs

Unlike some IT providers, we aim to be transparent and up front about costs. Offering long term assurances on price and clarity on future price increases.

In most cases our licence fees cover all standard on-going costs including support, updates, hosting, and data usage.

We want you to feel confident when you invest with us.

How do we achieve all this?

We aim to provide you with a set of simple to administer online tools that make promoting, signposting and communicating with your community simple and effective.

Our services are in no way exclusive and can work alongside any other web site or web sites.

The data collected can be exported at any time by you the customer. with an extensive library of report functions.

The system is built to allow you control over content and branding so there is little need for additional development costs.

Our CRM functionality means e-mail, social, blog and SMS can all be taken care without the need for additional external services or tricky exports and delivered fully branded at the click of a button.

If you want to find out how we can help you, please feel free to call or get in touch below.

How charities big and small can help the NHS | Voluntary Sector Network | The Guardian

With public health under new budget pressures and no sign of abating cronic health needs the Guardian discussion on the roll of the Voluntary sector offers some interesting arguments.

http://www.theguardian.com/voluntary-sector-network/2015/nov/24/how-charities-can-help-the-nhs

RECRUITING AND RETAINING STUDENT VOLUNTEERS: FIVE TOP TIPS

Kathryn Edwards is NCVO’s volunteering development team assistant. She assists with projects supporting NCVO’s work on volunteer management and good practice and plays a key role in helping to organise Volunteers Week. Kathryn also supports the Investing in Volunteers Quality Standard, working with organisations attaining the standard.

NCVO Original Article Here

This week we celebrate Student Volunteering Week. This is a great time to recognise their significant contribution to the wider community, and to pay special attention to them as an invaluable source of time, talent, skills and creativity.

Having proudly volunteered and worked within a student volunteering charity, I’ve seen the extent of the role that student volunteers play throughout a city’s volunteering infrastructure. There were many essential roles fulfilled by diverse and energetic student volunteers, mostly benefiting people outside of their university. Research by IVR shows that 95% of student volunteers are motivated by a desire to improve things or help people, ranking higher than developing skills (88%) and gaining work experience (83%).

My top tips for involving student volunteers in your organisation.

1. Getting the opportunities right

Student volunteers have differing requirements, whether that is time commitments, varying skills or interests. Providing a broad range of opportunities will help you to recruit and retain them.

Be aware of their academic timetable and provide opportunities outside of the normal working day.

An NUS report states that the main barrier for students who do not currently volunteer was not having enough time; students said they would like to see more one-off opportunities to encourage them to volunteer. Student Volunteering Week is a perfect time to run one-off ormicro volunteering to give potential volunteers a quick snap shot of volunteering with your organisation and could potentially lead to students volunteering on a regular basis.

2. Create opportunities that develop skills

Think about what skills and experience the volunteer will need and gain from particular opportunities and include this within the volunteer role descriptions.

Even though a large majority of student volunteers are motivated by the desire to make a difference, developing their skills and getting work experience in meaningful roles is key to attracting student volunteers.

Opportunities that have skills which link with their academic course may seem more appealing to potential volunteers. The NUS report states that 40% of students said that education institutions linking volunteering opportunities to their course or academic qualification would encourage them to do more volunteering.

3. Provide clear and accurate role descriptions

Volunteer role descriptions must provide an accurate idea of the work the volunteer will be doing to avoid any misunderstanding. It should identify why the role is needed and the benefits to both the volunteer and the organisation as identified in the Investing in Volunteers standard.

Think about how you might adapt a role to meet the volunteer’s skills and requirements. Being able to provide materials in alternative formats, for example, audio and easy to read versions, can be extremely useful when trying to engage a diverse range of volunteers – which leads me on to…

4. Engage a diverse range of student volunteers

Think carefully about where you promote your volunteering opportunities. Is there a volunteering hub within the university/union to promote your opportunity? If not, try and build relationships with the Student Union and departments within the university to engage a diverse audience. Look at promoting in shops, cafes, libraries, magazines and newspapers that students regularly use and read. Think about the different groups and activities they might be involved in.

You could also work with existing student volunteers to spread the word. Ambassadors can provide real examples of their volunteering experiences and can help to produce creative recruitment messages that appeals to that audience. Using social media can help to share these messages through stories, photos and videos, and are a powerful way to inspire, engage and sustain student’s social action.

NUS research shows almost half of all students found out about volunteering opportunities through friends and family, with their place of study the second most common source of finding out about volunteering opportunities.

5. Support your student volunteers

Support and consistent communication is key to retaining volunteers. Volunteers should be provided with:

  • a point of contact
  • the opportunity to attend regular supervisions
  • group meetings.

This also provides an opportunity to regularly recognise the contribution they have made.

In order to retain volunteers, they must feel valued and supported. The quality of support and communication they receive can determine how effective they will be as a volunteer.

Work with volunteers to clarify their interests and what they would like to gain from volunteering – this will help you to offer them the right kind of role and opportunities to develop.

 

 

David Cameron’s Big Society volunteering plan and what it might mean for you.

imgID15611225.jpg-pwrt2Half of the UK workforce would be given three days’ paid leave each year to volunteer, under Conservative plans unveiled on Friday.  Every public sector worker and anyone working in a company with at least 250 employees – more than 15 million people in total – would be entitled to the volunteering leave, David Cameron announced.  The Prime Minister said the pledge is “clearest demonstration of the Big Society in action”.

A series of high profile business figures welcomed the new plans for paid volunteering leave.

Mike Rake, chairman of BT, went one further than the Prime Minister, describing corporate volunteering as a “triple win”. He said it was “a win for the community, a win for individuals doing the volunteering, and a win for companies”.

“We welcome the Prime Minister reminding us of the importance of business to society,” he added.

Peter Cheese, chief executive at the CIPD, the professional body for the HR industry, said: “Our research shows that corporate volunteering benefits society, as well as businesses through building stronger roots with the communities they work in and serve, and engaging and developing new skills in their employees. It’s great to see this agenda being championed.”

John Cridland, Director General of the CBI: “Businesses encourage their employees to volunteer in the community and should do even more to increase this. It is a win win for everyone concerned”

Bear Grylls, the adventurer and TV presenter, also backed the plans, saying: “Firm Government support that enables millions to volunteer is a huge step forward towards building solid communities all around the UK.”

However, not everyone supported the idea. Lisa Nandy, Labour’s Shadow Minister for Civil Society, said: “Giving every public servant three extra days off could cost millions of pounds but there’s no sense of how it will be paid for. If just half of public sector workers took this up it would be the time equivalent of around 2,000 nurses, 800 police and almost 3,000 teachers.”

Some business groups are in little doubt that the policy will hit companies’ bottom lines. As Simon Walker, director general of the Institute of Directors, put it:

“Businesses should support their staff if they want to volunteer, but the architects of this idea cannot pretend that forcing firms to give an additional three days of paid leave will do anything other than add costs.  This announcement not only undermines the Tory record on reducing business regulation, it also puts additional pressure on public sector employers, and ultimately the taxpayer. Frankly, the essence of volunteering is that it is voluntary. The IoD would welcome proposals to incentivise and make it easier for companies to facilitate volunteering, but it has to be a choice.”

Ryan Bourne, head of public policy at the Institute of Economic Affairs, was even more trenchant in his critique the Conservative’ latest plan to increase volunteering:

“This is another example of politicians imposing burdens on business and taxpayers for the sake of sounding caring. At a time when everyone is telling us that the NHS and other services are overstretched, the idea that it should be a priority to allow public sector employees to take three days off for volunteering elsewhere, funded by the taxpayer, is ludicrous.”

What does it mean for the voluntary sector? Sir Stuart Etherington, chief executive of NCVO, and Asheem Singh, director of public policy at Acevo, think this is a exciting proposal for the voluntary sector and businesses.

Etherington said: “Many charities urgently need more volunteers to support their work, while volunteering is an excellent way for employees to develop skills and confidence that will benefit their employers. Anything that helps encourage our culture of volunteering is very welcome. We look forward to seeing the detail of the proposal.”

Singh said: “It recognises the crucial role of charities in building a better society. The workplace is a new frontier for social action, and this new legal right will help support a new generation of socially responsible citizens.”

However, some people on Twitter question the Conservatives’ agenda with this policy, arguing that it is just another way to fill gaps in public services.

Oonagh Aitken, chief executive of CSV, said: “As an organisation with an established employee volunteering programme, we know the benefits to employees, the workplace and communities.”

She does, however, argue that: “If this policy is to be implemented, it highlights the need to invest in volunteering organisations so that the best use is made of employees’ skills and interests when they do volunteer.”

The key question is how to make all this work for the charities – traditional team building initiatives (such as fence painting) can be a drain rather than a boost so the challenge is to design something more meaningful that can be completed in three days. Most successful schemes take a lot of resource to set up well and often a broker is required to develop something that is mutually beneficial for both businesses and charities.  Volunteering in a more collaborative and flexible way, for example allowing employees to choose causes they care most about, or being able to ‘pool’ their volunteering days. That way the volunteering has greater impact on the charity, is more engaging for the volunteer – and yields greater benefits for the business will be key to this policy leading to Volunteers rather than the Volun-told.  It seems certain that the Big Society is still very much a controversial subject.

A summary of all the others, Liberal Democrats and UKIP

Our final article on the Manifestos, and I must say I’m glad we only have an election every 5 years!  This is a very brief summary of the main policy points we think you in the Voluntary will want to know about.  Lets start with the the Lib Dems.

The Liberals have strong theme of support for social action and community rights throughout the the manifesto.  Ruth Driscoll, Head of policy and public Services at the NCVO welcomes “their focus on early intervention” “which would better support vulnerable people and would lead to long-term cost saving”

Improved incentives for work programme providers, many of which are voluntary organisations.  To update the Lobbying act to draw on Lord Hodgson’s work is also seen are very positive.

The manifesto recognises the value of the public having a voice in decision-making.  The voluntary sectors role in providing and enabling this must be protected through it is not clear how this will be done.

UKIP have said they would like to energise the voluntary sector in the build up to this manifesto, but what does that mean.  They are committed to scrap National Citizen service, repeal international Aid, reduce the cabinet office spend on ‘big society projects’ and scrap the Defra Waste resource action project.  They believe this will save £250 million in the first year.

They would replace these projects with the funding of 800 Food bank and local advice centres, a veterans administration that would coordinate the work of existing charities and most interesting is the funding of “community agents and the voluntary sector” although detail is very thin on the ground.

They also claim that by leaving the EU they would be able to offer more VAT relief to charitable organisations on some services and products.

What is clear, all parties recognise the importance of the voluntary sector, especially in a time of economic difficulty and for the poorest in society.  There does seem to be some real difference’s in how they think the sector should be funded and governed, and the role of government in that process.  Who ever wins, I think the sector is going to see even greater change over the next parliament and will need to ready to adapt.

 

 

 

 

The Labour Manifesto – what does it mean for volunteering

With the dEd+Miliband+Speech+Scottish+Labour+Party+Conference+XyWH-NPlU5ilust starting to settle and people having time to digest all the promises we look at some of the key areas of the Labour manifesto and what it might mean for Volunteers.

A Labour plan to bring back guaranteed childcare from 8am to 6pm in all primary schools has made it into the party’s manifesto.  First mooted in September 2013 the policy had since been sidelined as the party focused on criticising unqualified teachers and opposing the government’s free schools programme.  But “wraparound childcare” is back on the agenda. A single sentence in Labour’s education manifesto, released last week, has become an entire paragraph in the party’s main manifesto, launched today in Manchester.

“We will help families by expanding free childcare from 15 to 25 hours per week for working parents of three and four-year-olds, paid for with an increase in the bank levy. We will also introduce a legal guarantee for parents of primary school children to access wraparound childcare from 8am to 6pm through their local primary school. As well as helping parents, this will provide children with before and after-school clubs and activities, helping to raise their aspirations and attainment. This will be underpinned by a new National Primary Childcare Service, a not for profit organisation to promote the voluntary and charitable delivery of quality extracurricular activities.”

Most interesting is the final point which refers to this provision being provided by the voluntary and charitable sector, although detail is thin on the ground right now it would appear that Labour are keen to see the existing 3rd sector providers meet this demand but it does not explain how this will be funded.  With many schools already offering extensive activities and providing some type of service it is unclear how the National Primary Childcare Service will actually operate.

Asheem Singh, Director of Public Policy at the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations, the UK’s largest trade body for charity and social enterprise leaders said:

“Charities and social enterprises will be most excited by the Labour promise to repeal the lobbying act. When politicians voted to restrict the amount grass roots campaign groups could spend on campaigns in this election year while voting at the same time to raise the amount that politicians could spend on their own campaigns, a basic principle of decency and democracy was violated. At ACEVO we are pleased that our sector’s persistence and the argument of our manifesto ‘Free Society’ has been accepted. We look forward to this injustice being rectified, ideally in the first hundred days of the new parliament, whoever wins the election.”

The Lobbying Act reduces the amount grass roots campaigners can spend in an election year by 60%. Earlier this year politicians voted themselves a 23% rise in the amount they could spend during the campaign.

Labour’s commitment to early intervention and preventative, community care is welcome and it is only through proper partnership with state and community providers that we can make a difference on a community basis. Labour have committed to pooled budgets that bring health and care together; but more detail is needed to see how this might be delivered on a community by community basis and what this might mean for the voluntary sector providers.

Labour’s proposals to localise public services and get funding to organisations that deliver social value through regional banks are welcome news to the sector but will require more detail. Localism has three dimensions – economic, constitutional and public service based evidence suggests that detailed policy is needed on all three if  excellent services with a plurality of providers can be delivered.

What is really becoming clear is that both parties see a growing role for the voluntary sector in the next parliament which is sure to see a continuation of budget cuts and austerity which ever party wins.  Both main parties have recognised the importance of an active voluntary sector to protect some of those public services.  Volunteers and volunteer organisations must wake up to the new politics of the 21st century where they play and ever more important role.

 

 

VolunteerKinetic and the Sport and Recreation Alliance announce corporate partnership

sport and rec alliance

It is a great pleasure to announce that VolunteerKinetic and the Sport and Recreation Alliance are working together as corporate partners.  VolunteerKinetic are committed to building the worlds finest sports and leisure volunteer platform and see working with the team at the Sport and Rec Alliance as key to achieving that objective.

The Sport and Recreafp-slide5tion Alliance is the umbrella organisation for the governing and representative bodies of sport and recreation in the UK and represents 320 members – organisations like The FA, the Rugby Football Union, UK Athletics, the Ramblers, British Rowing and the Exercise, Movement and Dance Partnership.

Their role as trade association, ifp-slide2s to speak up on behalf of its members, representing their views and to provide them with services which make their life easier.  Volunteers often play such an important role in this process and we hope that VolunteerKinetic will support this work.

What does the Sport and Recreation Alliance do?

Its members are the governing bodies of sport and recreation. Their job is to run their sport or activity, promote participation and set the rules and conditions under which it takes place.

The SRA’s job is to make that job as easy as possible, representing their views to people who make decisions;  promoting the interests of sport and recreation so that as many people as possible know about their work; they campaign on issues affecting our members.

VolunteerKinetic shares many of the values and beliefs about the importance of Sport with in our society and we hope that this partnership will see a lasting legacy for Volunteers and clubs across the UK for years to come.

See the article here

http://www.sportandrecreation.org.uk/news/09-04-2015/volunteerkinetic-become-latest-alliance-corporate-partner

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