Defining Volunteer Centres (VCs)
What is a Volunteer Centre?
Volunteer Centres (VCs) are the ‘go to’ places for volunteering locally. In London, they are borough-based and usually work with local people and organisations. In most, but not all boroughs, the Volunteer Centre is a part of the local CVS but retains a separate focus for volunteering.
What does a VC do?
Offers a brokerage service, i.e., matching volunteers to local organisations.
Offers additional specific services, e.g., supporting volunteers with disabilities, corporate volunteering or, as seen recently in the vaccine rollout, mass volunteering.
Provides information and advice for volunteers and prospective volunteers, but also volunteer-involving organisations.
Supports the local voluntary and community response to emergencies.
Raises the profile of volunteering locally, increasing awareness amongst the general public, and, significantly, policymakers and funders.
Provides strategic leadership on issues related to volunteering.
Represents and advocates significantly for volunteers and volunteer-involving organisations.
Provides local insights and amplifies the voice of communities, volunteers, but also, volunteer-involving organisations.
Each borough’s Centre will have a service unique to that organisation, in response to local partnerships and residents.
London VC Network
London Plus facilitates the pan-London VC Network, chaired by Karen Chillman (Croydon Voluntary Action) and Dominic Pinkney (Volunteer Centres Camden and Hammersmith & Fulham). The network meets quarterly. This provides a forum for collaboration, peer support and the sharing of insights.