What is the Big Help Out?
The Big Help Out campaign has been designed to showcase how volunteering benefits both communities and individuals. The organisers hope that the legacy of this national day will be that more people from a wider range of backgrounds decide to volunteer. It’s also hoped that it will ultimately help reverse the decline in volunteering.
However, how will the VCSE sector in Norfolk respond to this call for action at a time when resources are already stretched? If you want your organisation to be part of the National Day of Action then it may require extra staff and volunteer resources to run special volunteering activities and events. This might be a fantastic opportunity for some groups to showcase what they do but for other organisations it might not be an effective use of their time. Many organisations require volunteers to go through an induction process and a training programme. This means a one-day session might not be a realistic reflection of what their volunteering roles involve. So how can these organisations use the Big Help Out to shine a light on their work?
Making the most of the Big Help Out
At Voluntary Norfolk, we’re looking at how we can capitalise on the period between the Big Help Out in May and Volunteers Week in June. This is a time when volunteering will be the focus of much media attention. They will use this period to raise awareness of the Get InVOLved volunteering platform. They will also collaborate with other local VCSEs to run volunteer themed events and workshops.
With limited resources available, it is worth considering if you can ‘piggy back’ on these national awareness days and weeks. This could be a great time to promote your cause and generate interest in your organisation. In terms of long term legacy we’ll wait and see if the Big Help Out makes a significant difference. However in the meantime we might find that it gives volunteering recruitment in Norfolk a little bit of a boost!