Framework for Volunteering in Health and Social Care

Tags: Report

6th September 2021

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Framework for volunteering Screenshot 2021 09 06 085945

“Together we must go further and faster, so that many more people experience the wide-ranging benefits that volunteers offer. Volunteering is far from a ‘nice to have’ or an optional add-on. It must be seen as a core component of good health and social care.”

Mark Lever, CEO Helpforce

Introduction

Volunteering delivers social value and plays a key role in delivery of health and social care and preventative health, meaning that there is a return on investment.

This Framework is a resource that supports those involved with health and social care volunteering to ‘hold the gain’ that they have experienced during the pandemic. This is essential if the value of volunteering is to be fully recognised and sustained, not just in respect of the emergency response that was experienced in 2020, but also the wider unique value that volunteering brings to health and social care.

Volunteering in health and social care in Wales extends well beyond the voluntary sector, with organisations from the public, private and voluntary sectors all supporting services and health and social care outcomes through volunteering. Our later section – ‘Overview of Volunteering in Health and Social Care’ – explores the many roles that volunteers undertake within this environment.

Whilst volunteering is not new, the coronavirus pandemic has repositioned volunteering within health and social care. The pandemic saw health services engaging with volunteers at unprecedented levels (with the public prepared to volunteer at these levels and above).

Volunteering was supported with additional resources and processes were streamlined in places to support responsive commissioning and volunteering. Alongside this, people in their tens of thousands across Wales energised themselves, co-producing support in response to the needs of local community members.

This Framework has been developed further to recommendations from the Helpforce Cymru steering group, to develop a resource that supports those involved with health and social care volunteering to ‘hold the gain’ that they have experienced during the pandemic. This is essential if the value of volunteering is to be fully recognised and sustained, not just in respect of the emergency response that was experienced in 2020, but also the wider unique value that volunteering brings to health and social care.

Funding through Welsh Government’s Coronavirus Recovery Grant for Volunteering has enabled us to explore with organisations their first-hand experience of planning, delivering or supporting volunteering. Through this, we understand what needs to be considered to ensure that volunteering is recognised as a key service within health and social care in Wales, which contributes to key goals such as those laid down in the Wellbeing of Future Generations (Wales) Act and A Healthier Wales.

This Framework offers a series of common questions that should be considered by all organisations involved in volunteering. Signposting to wider resources, case studies and a self-assessment tool allow each organisation to develop an organisation-appropriate response, recognising the diversity of health and social care organisations in Wales.

The Framework focuses on those areas where volunteering supports a thirdparty health or social care outcome. Although we have not included initiatives such as social prescribing and arts for wellbeing, we recognise and fully support the benefits that these bring. By volunteering, we mean:

  • Voluntary
  • Not for financial gain
  • For the benefit of others beyond the volunteer’s household and/or family
The Framework Screenshot 2021 09 06 094530

The Framework is intended to be a long-lasting resource and will be reviewed and updated over time. We welcome feedback to inform future updates and this should be sent to volunteering@wcva.cymru

For the full document please download the attachment.

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