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National Learning Hub for Volunteering

20th February 2020

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Written by Kay Fawcett, OBE – Education Lead and Clinical Advisor, Helpforce

In the Spring of 2018, Health Education England commissioned Helpforce to produce a learning and development resource for volunteers and the staff working with them.

The commission was aimed at creating standardised free learning for volunteers that could support them and that could form the basis of a National Certificate and include the opportunity to link to a career in health and care for those that wished to move into paid employment.

For Volunteer Leaders and their teams it is aimed at supporting them in their roles including links to leadership and management skills and to enable them to extend their learning where they choose to do so.

We consulted widely across the UK, taking soundings from volunteer leaders, volunteers and from the leads for volunteering in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Using the feedback, the National Learning Hub for Volunteering was developed and it is now out for piloting in England.

The hub has open access without the need for an NHS email address and the majority of courses are free to use.

Content includes short sessions especially developed with e-learning for healthcare and volunteers across health and care and the third sector. The sessions cover the core topics needed for volunteers induction, completion of them and the use of the learning in volunteering practice will lead to the National Volunteer Certificate.

There are also many other free sessions available from a series of providers including the Open University.

Staff working with volunteers can achieve their own link to the hub and it provides them with the opportunity to assess themselves across the skills needed for their jobs and then to access appropriate courses to support their development.

The hub is being tested with volunteers and staff that work with volunteers in Trusts across England, and in a series of workshops where we are inviting both NHS staff and those from the third sector. The workshops have been really excellent and provided us with rich feedback about the hub and its potential.

We would love you all to test it too and to send your feedback to us before the 10th March 2020.

The link to the hub is here : https://helpforcelearning.community/.

Your feedback can be provided for the element provided for staff that work with volunteers here and for resources for volunteers here

Please feel free to share this with your teams, volunteers and other colleagues.

First Volunteer testing group