Volunteers’ week 2021 was a chance to say thank you for the significant contribution of volunteers over the past year, many organisations took to social media in the absence of being able to promote face to face events and shared some informative case studies and stories from the voluntary sector. We were encouraged to read such diverse accounts of volunteering and how this impacts our communities and individuals and what difference volunteering makes to those who get involved themselves. There are so many benefits to volunteering and often its not until we encounter a national crisis such as Covid_19 or event such as the London Olympics that we really recognise the power of volunteering and the difference it makes. Building upon these successes, raising the profile, and creating a legacy is regularly a term we encounter as volunteer leaders and this is something we all aspire to achieve, but why is it if volunteering has so many reported benefits in health care that some of our NAVSM members feel frustrated about the disparity of roles and resources to deliver effective voluntary services. On the 7th June during Volunteers week NAVSM along with its voluntary sector partners released and open letter for voluntary service managers to share with their senior managers and boards with the aim of raising the profile of what volunteers have achieved throughout the pandemic and some of the challenges that voluntary services have had to overcome. The open letter encourages organisations to involve volunteer leaders in decision-making to offer a perspective that few others see and asks that they make the following commitments:
At NAVSM we hope you have found this tool useful and would welcome your feedback if you have managed to use this open letter to assist you in building a case for voluntary services in your Trust. We also welcome you to join our membership and share your experiences with our regional hub teams who will support you and share experiences of building a case for volunteering in your organisation.