Volunteering has always made a significant contribution to supporting peoples’ health and wellbeing – including their mental health. Over the last year, we have seen clearly how volunteers have been an inherent part of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our report Investigating volunteering in mental health settings, based on research conducted just before the covid pandemic, highlights how volunteering benefits the health and wellbeing of both the volunteer and those receiving support, and looks at the things we can do differently to build on existing work as we move forward.
Read about how the community and voluntary sector is helping people in West Yorkshire and Harrogate during the covid pandemic on the 'Community heroes' section of the Coronavirus information and resources page.
The volunteer landscape has seen significant changes over the last few years; from the rise of community response and emergency micro volunteering, coupled with many well-established volunteer programmes put on hold, or volunteers standing down due to health reasons or as a result of the pandemic. At times, volunteers have been viewed as the solution to address vital issues such as workforce capacity within health and care settings. Nationally the Vision for Volunteering recognises these fundamental changes and the need to put the volunteers (rather than what they can do for us), at the centre of our policy decisions to tackle long-standing inequalities. As Volunteer Management professionals, we are committed to high quality and inclusive volunteering.
Read more about our key principles for involving volunteers in this document Volunteer Principles.