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Our Volunteering Strategy Project has been looking into how Turn2us can support our volunteers better so that together we can help more people. It has now finished its consultation phase with our stakeholders and we are now working on the final strategy for the next three years.  The strategy will be formally launched early next year and more details will follow after Christmas. 
 
Workshops were created for the Project Team members, HQ staff not directly involved in the project and for volunteers and they were delivered through a programme of five regional events for volunteers in four locations across England and Wales.  This figure included an additional session which was scheduled to take place at our Headquarters Offices in London in response to the number of volunteers who were unable to attend the original one planned for August but who expressed an interest in finding out about the strategy through participating in a workshop.  Volunteers came along and shared their experiences and thoughts on our strategy.  

As part of the project we also contacted all the volunteers who were registered as Visitors to update their contact details and to help us create a database of project updates and survey preferences for those volunteers unable to attend these events so that they could feed into the process through other avenues.

Purpose of the workshops

The purpose of the workshops was to:

  • Inform attendees about our current position in respect of our volunteering programme
  • Give an overview of the national volunteering landscape and trends
  • Provide them with an opportunity to contribute their thoughts to the development of the strategy through participation in various exercises which contributed to our internal analysis of the charity.  These included:
    • A SWOT  (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) exercise which encouraged participants to think about the volunteering strategic issues that the organisation is facing
    • An 'Identifying ideas, options and opportunities' exercise which invited them to draw on their experience to inform the development of new volunteer roles - for either their areas of work (staff) or their volunteering role (volunteers). Attendees shared their knowledge about potential future demands on their areas of work (staff) and their frontline operational experience dealing with individuals we support with grants (volunteers).

Online survey

In addition to the workshops, an online survey was also created using SurveyMonkey which was made available in a paper version for those who preferred to complete it without using a computer

A range of questions were used such as:

  • How long have you been volunteering with Elizabeth Finn Care/Turn2us?
  • Please confirm your current volunteer involvement with the charity – tick all that apply (eg Visitor, County Committee etc)
  • Do you volunteer for any other organisation?
  • What were the reasons that you decided to start volunteering with us – tick all that apply (e.g. I wanted to give something back, I had a personal connection to the charity etc)
  • We are reviewing how we recognise and thank our volunteers.  Please indicate which of the following methods you think are most appropriate  (e.g. formal awards ceremony, verbal thanks, a reference, social events etc)

Volunteers' experiences with Turn2us

We also wanted to know about our volunteers’ experiences with Turn2us so there were some additional questions to gauge satisfaction levels and how supported volunteers felt. This survey was created used SurveyMonkey and was made available in both an electronic and paper format as some volunteers had expressed a preference for a postal version. 

Next steps

Responses to the surveys and workshops were then collated and used to inform the content of our final strategy and action plan to develop our volunteering programme.

The strategy document is currently being written and will be launched early next year along with details of our findings.

Volunteers will receive an update on the details about our launch events once everything has been finalised.

Coronavirus Information

My child's school is closing due to the coronavirus outbreak. What can I do?

The government has announced that schools will be closing for the majority of students from 20 March 2020.

Children in the following groups will still be able to go to school if their parents choose to send them:

  • The children of key workers
  • Children receiving support from social services
  • Children with disabilities
  • Children with Education Health and Care Plans (EHCPs​)
  • Young carers

If you need to take time off work to care for your children, you should check your employment rights on the ACAS website.
 

What if I am well but my employer tells me not to work because of the coronavirus outbreak?

This will depend on your contract and is an employment law issue. You may be able to get advice from ACAS on this. You will not be entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP).

What if I have been in contact with someone with coronavirus and don’t want to go to work and risk infecting my colleagues and customers?

You will only be able to get special help under the coronavirus rules if you are self-isolating in accordance with NHS advice. You can find the current NHS coronavirus advice on the NHS website

What if I am not getting any customers in my self-employed business because of the coronavirus?

You may be able to claim Universal Credit, but you will not be entitled to any special support because of the coronavirus outbreak. You may have the minimum income floor applied to your claim, or you may be required to look for full time-employment.

I’m on a zero-hours contract, will I get paid if I’m told to self isolate?

If you are self-isolating in accordance with NHS guidance and you usually earn at least £120 per week, you should get Statutory Sick Pay even if you are on a zero hours contract.

What if I am homeless with no income so can’t self-isolate and need funds for accommodation?

The government has not published any guidance for what you should do if you are homeless and develop coronavirus symptoms. It would be best to contact your local authority for advice. You should do so by telephone if at all possible.