A new strategic vision for volunteering in social care will be unveiled today by Care Services Minister Paul Burstow in Birmingham.
Volunteers already play a tremendous role in adding value to health and social care services. This needs to be celebrated and strengthened. To make this a reality, Paul Burstow will announce that up to £2.6 million will be available for national volunteering and social action projects in 2012. Fifty-one local projects will also be approved today, with a combined value of approximately £2.5 million.
The funding is given to projects that align with one of four key themes: improving health and social care; delivering better health outcomes; improving public health; and a patient-led NHS.
Paul Burstow said:
“Volunteers can be great asset in promoting and improving health. The funding I have announced will mean more projects like this can get volunteers involved in providing real support that will help local communities and give the volunteers invaluable experience and skills.
“Our vision is to encourage leaders and commissioners to be more open and inclusive and to create an environment where the experience of volunteers counts. I want to help NHS and social care organisations – whether social enterprises, private, charity or public sector – to realise the benefits of volunteering and make the most of the opportunities it provides.”
To make sure that small local organisations that have received funding through the programme get the most out of it, the Health and Social Care Volunteering Fund offers a support package through nationally recognised voluntary, community and social enterprises organisations. This includes a diagnostic visit, support consultancy, action learning networks and training in volunteer management.
National organisations can apply, from next week, for up to £200,000 each to run projects from Summer 2012 that align with one of the four key themes.