Event 13: The future of volunteering: CommUnity bubbles of course! (June 2018)

Around 65 social leaders gathered together on 21 June for the North East Together whole network event 13 on the future of volunteering. The three main elements were: hearing from George Thomson, Volunteer Scotland, about his leadership learning journey about volunteering and creating the CommUnity Bubbles idea in 2017; hearing about, and working together in groups on, the future of volunteering in the north east; and, sharing results from our recent research project into the value of North East Together. The event’s advanced information pack and slides tells you more.

The future of volunteering: commUnity bubbles of course!

In 2017 George Thomson, CEO of Volunteer Scotland, took study leave to investigate approaches to increasing volunteer participation and inclusion. Through the lens of his own leadership journey during this time, his talk explored the slide in participation/inclusion, unintended gentrification of volunteering, views on the street, the invention of commUnity bubbles, who cares and why.

You can listen to the talk [coming soon], see the slides plus watch the teaser introduction George shared before the event.

The future of volunteering: trends, challenges, opportunities in the north east

Carol Botton, from VONNE, talked about the trends, challenges and opportunities of volunteering in the north east. Using information from the 2016 Third Sector Trends study, Volunteer Centre Newcastle and Durham Community Action, Carol touched on the value of volunteering to the north east (c £131million when valued at 80% of the average regional wage), who supports volunteering in our region, and the regional challenges facing volunteering. It was also exciting to hear two examples of local good practice in Durham — a volunteer kitemark for volunteer-involving organisations and a volunteer passport for volunteers to provide a pre-volunteering course as a first step for those wanting to volunteer and to passport their skills and knowledge between organisations. You can read more in her slides.

We also got together into small groups to explore the future of volunteering: what it looks like to us and how are we going to make it happen. Each group captured their thoughts — there’s one below — and we’ve pulled together all seven sheets into one document.

North East Together: Where the value lies

We shared headlines from our recently completed research exploring the meaning and impact of the network through the experiences of members. We’ll explore the research together at our next event on 4 October. In the meantime, you can read the executive summary we shared at our June event.

What else?

The event also included guided networking, an update about our collaborative working groups, upcoming network activity and news from our network friends. Here are the highlights

Next event

The next whole network event is a focus on our collaborative working groups — showing what we’ve done together and an opportunity to set up new collaborative working groups — and exploring the recent North East Together research. It is on Thursday 4 October 2018, 16.45–20.30 at Newcastle University Business School, and we’ll share booking information in August/as soon as we can.

Thank you

Thanks to everyone who spoke at the event, to those who facilitated the groups, and to everyone who came and took part in the event. And thanks to Newcastle University Business School for providing the venue, refreshments, support and student ambassadors.


North East Together: network for social change leadership

North East Together

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@socialleadersne brings leaders together to tackle social injustice and create positive change in the north east. Inspiration, collaboration, mutual support


North East Together: network for social change leadership

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