Update on Volunteering Trends in Norfolk

Lucy Hogg, Voluntary Norfolk’s Director of Voluntary Sector Infrastructure, gives an update on volunteering trends in Norfolk…

As we move into the summer, weather permitting of course, we are mindful of the very real challenges facing the sector currently. We are aware that the cost-of-living crisis continues to create hardship for local communities and VCSE organisations alike in particular how it has affected volunteering in Norfolk.

You will see several timely new reports referenced in this month’s digest, including the new CAF Resilience Index, which places funding for core costs firmly on the agenda, along with a call for multi-year funding; we understand the challenges of short-term project funding, and the way this keeps voluntary and community groups and organisations on a back foot, and we are advocating locally with partners to ensure that local commissioning reviews take these key issues on board.

Trends in Volunteering in Norfolk

As we celebrate the massive contribution of volunteers across Norfolk and to inspire new volunteers through Volunteers Week (1 – 7 June), it is worth reflecting on the Coronation Big Help Out. I don’t know how many Coronation quiches were baked in your neighbourhood, but despite the bad weather, it was great to see communities coming together to mark the occasion. An estimated 6.5 million people volunteered during the Big Help Out. This is according to the Together Coalition, which led the event. The largest take up was in London and the north east. Their poll also shows that 7.81million people are more likely to volunteer as a result of the Big Help Out. Organisers are in talks to make the volunteering event an annual occurrence.  We very much hope to see this increase reflected in the local volunteering landscape.

We know that volunteers are the backbone of communities. They are the advocates and stakeholders in the issues affecting communities, that can so often be overlooked. That’s why, we are delighted to lead on a local Vision for Volunteering. This will help inform countywide strategies for volunteering in Norfolk. Voluntary Norfolk’s many years supporting volunteering informs this vision. It’s backed up by research into local volunteering issues, conducted over recent months. We are grateful to receive funding from the Know Your Neighbourhood fund. We hope this will further develop our understanding of volunteering in Great Yarmouth. You can read the Developing Volunteering in Great Yarmouth: Building Pride and Place here.

Over the summer we will be working hard with local stakeholders to further inform and endorse the vision. We expect to launch it in the autumn.