Introduction to Doing volunteering 'well'

Why we created this toolkit

We are living in extraordinary times with limited resources.

More than half of the organisations in the migrant sector have five or fewer staff supported by volunteer teams. Volunteering is often used to prop up, expand and, in some cases, entirely meet complex needs of service users, even in statutory services. It is essential to reflect on volunteering practices so they may support communities, environments, integration, health and social justice (and not inadvertently act as an accelerator of social injustice).

This toolkit seeks to enable people and organisations to build on, challenge or review their volunteer practice and to enact structural change to ensure volunteering is a tool for positive social impact.

Our aspiration is that volunteering with or by people with a background of forced migration in Yorkshire and Humber is accessible, physically and psychologically safe and meets its best potential for individuals and communities.

This toolkit simplifies, contextualises, and integrates a range of ideas and challenges coming from people with a variety of professional and personal lived experience, researchers, practitioners and activists.

It offers tools to help establish or review volunteer programmes, enabling you to identify how to develop good quality structures, interpersonal relationships and support for all volunteers, and especially those facing multiple marginalisations.

Whilst this toolkit focuses on volunteering involving people with migration experience, this group is as a wide and diverse as the human experience. Creating psychologically safe, accessible and anti-oppressive volunteering that includes people with experiences of migration will have broad ranging positive impacts for everyone.

Last updated: 13th January 2023

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