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Enhancing Volunteering

“I’ve had a difficult few years, I lost my job and had to move back home. Volunteering has really helped my self-worth. It’s put a smile on my face and given me the confidence to think I could do this as a job.”  Participant, Braunstone Town Community Library ‘Inspiring to Communities to Connect’ project

The Cultural Communities Network (CCN) programme has created fantastic new opportunities for more local people to gift their time, energy and skills as volunteers. The cultural venues involved were willing and open to learning and sharing good practice in volunteering, and keen to create opportunities for individuals to get involved. This in turn energised and enhanced their activities and overall offer, further cementing their place within their communities.

We hope our top tips will help you to enhance volunteering within your organisation.



  • How our projects enhanced volunteering
    • Harnessed the diversity of skills of local people
    • Creation of more opportunities for volunteering within the community
    • Creation of new roles and opportunities based on feedback from local people
    • Recruitment from a variety of places which ensured a diverse range of volunteers
    • More open and inclusive spaces for the sharing of a diverse range of ideas and skills
    • Volunteers were listened to and included in decision making which empowered them
    • Specialist advice on volunteer recruitment, reinvigoration and retention
  • Challenges we want to share
    • Existing volunteers reluctant to return due to covid / ill health
    • Volunteers lacked confidence to deliver new activities
    • Volunteers unsure they had the relevant skillset
    • Limited experience of managing and supporting volunteers
    • Volunteer plans or programmes of support needed updating
  • How we overcame them
    • Recruitment of volunteers from a variety of places which ensured a diverse range of skills, experience and knowledge
    • Training and upskilling of volunteers supported by partners with relevant expertise
    • Support with development of good practice volunteer toolkit
    • Awareness and sharing of national good practice volunteer guidelines
    • Joined local and national volunteering support groups / forums
    • Clear communication between everyone involved
    • Taster sessions
    • Pilots
    • ‘Stepping-stone’ journey options – from participant to volunteer
    • Development of a volunteer buddy system for mentoring and safeguarding
    • Social gatherings for team building
  • What enhancing your volunteer offer could mean for your venue and community
    • More people sharing volunteering roles and responsibilities
    • Local people energising and enhancing your offer
    • New perspectives and different voices
    • Greater capacity to do more
    • Richer community links and networks
    • Greater resilience as an organisation
  • Please take some time to read our case studies
    • Braunstone Town Community Library – creative and cultural activities, such as visual arts, connecting with nature and creative writing increased participants confidence and led to volunteering opportunities
    • Glen Hills Together – cultural activity such as artist in residence sessions, a logo competition and photography exhibition created new volunteering opportunities
    • Great Glen Community Library engagement and volunteer recruitment event aimed at raising the profile of the library within the community
    • South Wigston Playgroup – is a parent led playgroup, a legacy of the Musical Bin Dippers project