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Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Setting up a volunteer scheme at work

Employee volunteering is volunteering that is supported by your employer, either in work time or outside of work hours.

Why volunteer as an employee?

Many people find employee volunteering beneficial as they often work together as a team - creating improved team building skills through a rewarding experience. It's also a good way to lend a hand to your local community.

In 2001, in England and Wales, seven per cent of the population volunteered through employer-supported schemes.

Employee volunteering ideas

If you are thinking about setting up an employee volunteer scheme you will need to decide what you want to do and how you would like to get involved.

Team challenges

A 'challenge' is a practical task that helps out a local community organisation. Types of challenge include painting a hall, clearing a river or creating a children's playground.

Secondments and development assignments

These are short placements in community organisations for individuals and teams. All projects have a clear focus and can benefit you by improving your team building and work place skills.

Virtual volunteering

Already well established in the US, volunteers work from their desk on behalf of groups in the UK, overseas and on the web. Examples include:

  • web research
  • email mentoring
  • 'listening' chat room
  • newsgroup supervision

Virtual volunteering is helpful if you have limited time as you can keep in touch via email or phone.

Board membership, including school governors

Volunteers can offer professional or managerial skills to a school board or serve on the management committee of a voluntary or public sector organisation. Skills gained include:

  • management experience
  • decision-making
  • developing strategies and policy
  • organisational structure overview

How do you get started?

You can visit the employer-supported volunteering pages of the Volunteering England website to find out more about employee-based volunteering including:

  • a step-by-step guide to setting up a scheme
  • resources and research to help you set up a scheme
  • a full list of employee volunteering contacts and useful links

Some volunteer positions may require criminal record checks. See 'Criminal record checks - an introduction' for more information.

Useful contacts

Additional links

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