On Thursday I was back in London to attend a meeting of the England Volunteering Development Council. We heard a presentation on the progress of the Modernising Volunteering National Support Service which is looking at employer-supported volunteering, new forms of volunteering, volunteering in faith-based organisations and increasing diversity. Justin Davis-Smith from Volunteering England talked about the work VE has been doing with the TUC to update the guidelines on relations between paid staff and volunteers which date back to 1979: comments are sought by the end of July on the draft new guidelines which are on the Volunteering England website. We had an update on the ‘refresh’ of the Voluntary Sector Compact: the revised Compact will be available from next Monday 20 July for a three month consultation. There was some concern about the implementation of the Department for Work and Pensions volunteering brokerage scheme which aims to place 34,000 long-term unemployed people in volunteering opportunities over the next two years. Saskia Daggett from Volunteering England presented a comprehensive review of the work of the six action groups which were established to follow-up the recommendations of the Commission on the Future of Volunteering. These action groups have now finished their work and the list of their achievements is very impressive. Finally we heard more details of the YouthNet/Volunteering England 2012 Volunteering Legacy project which aims to build a sustainable electronic volunteering infrastructure.
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