Following on from the ‘Volunteer Champion: Part 1‘ blog shared in August, I now want to explore how the Volunteer Charter sits with other national initiatives that work to ensure Scotland’s 10-year Volunteering Action Plan is being delivered to support safe and accessible volunteering in Scotland, and what work the team here at Impact Funding Partners are doing to contribute.
Back in 2018, Impact Funding Partners supported the creation of Scotland’s Volunteering for All Framework and incorporated the six key principles of the plan into our reporting framework for organisations funded through the Volunteering Support Fund 2018 – 2021.
Since then, Impact Funding Partners has contributed around £40,000 of pro-bono support to the development and implementation of Scotland’s 10-year Volunteering Action Plan, a living document designed to respond to needs as they arise. During the development of the plan, our CEO, Tricia McFarlane chaired the ‘Lifelong Engagement’ working group, Diane Wilson, Head of Operations and Development was a member of the Recognition and Celebration group and I was part of the Policy Impact Group.
Leading on from that, I now sit as a member of the Volunteer Scotland facilitated Policy Champions Network, which aims to increase the visibility and presence of volunteering in local and national policy across all relevant sectors. To further uphold the six principles of the original framework and the principles of the Volunteer Charter, our Development Officer, Emma O’Shea, is a member of the Cost-Of-Living and Volunteering Task group which was set up to look explicitly at the impact of the Cost-Of-Living crisis on volunteers. The task group works to identify and implement potential mitigations which limit the negative impact of the Cost-of-Living Crisis on volunteers, volunteering, and volunteer involving organisations. Alongside these initiatives, Emma is also part of The National Inclusion Group, which meets quarterly to discuss ideas around Inclusion for Volunteers and to share resources.
The involvement that my colleagues and I have in these initiatives has been fundamental in ensuring our funded organisations have an opportunity to share their experiences and challenges related to volunteering on a national platform, as well as develop their understanding and awareness of volunteering developments across the country.
Our strong commitment to the 10 principles of the Volunteer Charter also led to us leading a Funders Facilitated Discussion at the start of the year to take forward the ‘funding for success’ component of the Volunteering Action Plan. Scottish Government, Volunteer Scotland, national funders, and national organisations came together to share fund management practices in relation to volunteer management and development, budgets designed to support volunteering and how to effectively measure the financial value and overall impact of volunteering within Scotland to ensure it is visible and valued. In October 2023, Impact Funding Partners hosted an additional workshop with funding leaders to explore how best to support volunteering good practice through funding and the outcomes from this session will be shared back to the wider facilitation discussion group.
The connections and partnerships that continue to build through this collaborative cross-sector work have enabled us to showcase our expertise and knowledge in fund management and also strengthened our commitment to ensuring safe and supportive volunteering opportunities for all. As a Charter Champion, Impact Funding Partners pledges to continue to ensure the organisations supported through the funds we manage have a voice and opportunity to share their own expertise and knowledge in national policy conversations around volunteering in Scotland and to explore ways that they can uphold the 10 principles of the Volunteer Charter.
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