Wednesday, June 22 2022

Did you know that the Office for National Statistics says that in less than 20 years, one in four people will be over 65? What will this mean for volunteering in this age group? In 2020-2021, people aged 65 to 74 were the age group most likely to formally volunteer. But just. And the effects of the pandemic have reduced that compared to other age groups.

What can we do to not only encourage pre-pandemic levels of volunteering, but also to remove the real barriers to volunteering? The barriers that exist for people of all ages, especially the middle years of 50+, before we get to that.

Collaborate on inclusive outcomes suitable for seniors

We recently hosted a workshop with volunteer leaders to develop an age-friendly and inclusive volunteering results framework. We wanted to collaborate on the development of the framework, to ensure that it is valid and rooted in the day-to-day context of volunteers and volunteer organizations. Our learning focused on identifying key barriers and enablers for people aged 50+ and what prevents them from engaging in volunteering opportunities. The results of the framework are organized around three fundamental areas:

  • Results for individuals: skills development and what they think of their volunteering experience.
  • Results for organizations: the concrete actions to be taken and the changes in culture.
  • Results for the voluntary sector: access to training and resources, and developing the story of inclusive and age-friendly volunteering.

The framework will be used to shape the project and as the basis for our monitoring, evaluation and learning approach.

An invitation to join this new project

Thanks to a grant from the Center for better aging, we are excited to work on inclusive volunteering suitable for seniors. We offer up to ten organizations a place to join an action learning ensemble. We will meet once a month over a period of 6 months, from July 2022 to January 2023. The purpose of this group will be:

  • solve problems
  • frank on the barriers
  • bold to develop solutions together.

We want this group to develop and integrate the principles and practices of inclusive and age-friendly volunteerism that have been tested and documented in pilots funded by the Center for Better Aging. We ask that the learning and progress of this group be generously shared with the sector.

It is also possible to join an advisory group. The role of the group will be:

  • oversee the activities and learning that arise from the project
  • share the learning as widely as possible in your own organization
  • become champions of change.

Meetings will be no longer than 90 minutes and will take place in July 2022 and January 2023. There will also be email communications between meetings. The advisory group will also play a role in approving the list of organizations recommended for a place in the action learning sets.

The application process is short and simple. Email Volunteer Development Consultant Jarina Choudhury with “Inclusive and Age-Friendly Volunteering” in the subject line and we’ll send you more information. The closing date is June 22, 2022. We look forward to hearing from you and working together on this exciting project.

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