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Invitation to tender: supporting volunteering in London [1 year consultancy project]

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London Plus supports the London Volunteering Strategy Group – a strategic and influencing body for the volunteering sector in London.

London Plus is seeking proposals from an organisation or individual to help us support volunteering in London to develop, thrive, and be sustained.  This will be achieved by providing strategic direction, engaging the London Volunteering Strategy Group (LVSG) and leading work on a London ‘Vision for Volunteering’.

About London Plus

London Plus helps charities and community groups in London to do more and do better. Through this, we aim to help tackle disadvantage and inequality in the capital.

Part of our work is improving the information available to charities and community groups, helping them be effective and achieve more. We do this by connecting them to each other; supporting them to tell others about their work; and sharing information about funding and policies. We also connect them to policymakers and funders, including by presenting their views and information about their work. This helps improve understanding about the voluntary and community sector and can influence policy to better meet its needs.

Our agenda is important, and it is ambitious, to raise the profile of the voluntary and community sector and help it achieve even more. London’s entrenched inequalities and high levels of disadvantage and deprivation must be tackled in part through strengthening communities and community voice. The current cost of living crisis and the earlier pandemic have reminded many of the power of community and the pivotal role of formal charities and informal community groups in this.

The Context

The London Volunteering Strategy Group (LVSG) was convened by the Greater London Authority (GLA) and London Plus in 2021. Recognising a gap in regional conversations about volunteering the team reached out to volunteer-involving organisations across London. The purpose of the group was to support and promote all types of volunteering in London and to act as a strategic, influencing body that champions and raises the profile of volunteering.

Initial meetings involved representatives from the GLA, London Plus, Volunteering Matters, London Councils, the London Boroughs Faiths Network, NCVO, Kings College London, Big Local, The Jewish Volunteering Network, LGBT Consortium and Volunteer Centres from Havering, Lewisham, and Hammersmith & Fulham.

The group agreed an initial joint action to create a campaign to highlight the vital contribution that volunteers make to London. The campaign, London’s Lifelines, took place over 2022–23. During this time, the London’s Lifelines project became the key priority and was driven by a core steering group of five organisations, while wider engagement with the LVSG was less of a focus.

Project Brief

The aim of this work is to coordinate and lead the LVSG, widen the membership to reflect and represent London, and develop a collaborative London ‘Vision for Volunteering’.

The work will involve:

  • Engaging with members, seeking their input about
    • LVSG meetings (direction, content, presentations etc.).
    • Facilitating and leading LVSG meetings.
  • Engaging the group in discussions about widening membership and follow up on suggestions for prospective new members so that membership represents the scope and scale of volunteering in London.
  • Commissioning presentations and ideas from members.
  • Leading on the collaborative development of a Vision for Volunteering for London, supporting the LVSG to establish joint objectives and actions to champion and support volunteering in London.
  • Developing a research agenda and questions for relevant data projects, exploring key themes such as:
    • The scope and scale of volunteering in London across different boroughs, platforms, and forms
    • How this is changing (the extent to which volunteering in London is in decline or simply evolving into different activities)
    • The volunteer experience (including of national initiatives and whether small acts of volunteering are effective ‘gateways’ to more sustained contributions)
  • Producing a Vision for Volunteering for London with recommendations and an implementation plan.
  • Leading the communications work of LVSG, with support from London Plus’s Networks and Comms teams, engaging with the wider voluntary and community sector in London around the volunteering agenda in the capital.

Profile

London Plus is looking for a person or group of people with experience and skills in leading strategic partnerships and good knowledge of London’s voluntary and community sector, specifically the volunteering sector.

London Plus welcomes submissions from individuals/organisations from a diverse background.

Expected Deliverables

6 x strategic LVSG meetings, with sub-group meetings if required

2-4 new LVSG members each quarter

Clear priorities for the LVSG

Over 400 organisations engaged in the design of the Vision for Volunteering through in-person events, online discussions and digital consultations

A Vision for Volunteering for London

Budget and Timeline

The budget for this project is £30,000 (inclusive of VAT).

Timeline

April 2024               Consultant appointed

Apr-June 2024        Priorities, themes, research explored with LVSG

July-Nov 2024         Sector wide engagement and research

Nov 24-Jan 25        Collaborative LVSG work on drafting Vision

Feb 2025                Publish Vision, report and recommendations

March 2025             Comms activity, legacy planning

Payment is expected to be:

£10,000                  on signature of contract

£10,000                  October 2024

£10,000                  March 2025

How to apply

Please submit an expression of interest – maximum of two A4 pages. This should explain how you would deliver this project, including

  • A short project plan and timeline with key milestones
  • How you will involve LVSG partners, and recruit new members
  • A project summary, including budget

Please submit expressions of interest by close of business Thursday 28th March 2024 to hannah@londonplus.org