Press release

Minister gives kick-start to volunteering at launch of vision and fund

A new vision for volunteering in health and social care will be unveiled today by Care Services Minister Paul Burstow Volunteers…

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


A new vision for volunteering in health and social care will be unveiled today by Care Services Minister Paul Burstow in Birmingham.

Volunteers play a crucial role in health and social care services, and to support this 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 be approved today, with a combined value of approximately £2.5 million.

The funding is given to projects that meet 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 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 register to apply, from next week, for up to £200,000 a year for up to three years each to run projects from Summer 2012 that align with one of the four key themes.

Example projects

Diabetes UK - Community Champions Volunteer Programme

The project has 5 main aims focusing on avoiding preventable cases by improving awareness of diabetes, lifestyle risk factors and supporting the adoption of healthier lifestyles. The project focuses on Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) groups, and will improve the information flow through local networks.

The Place2Be - Developing Active Community-based Volunteering

The project aim is to empower local leadership to reduce health inequalities by improving access to non-stigmatising school-based mental health support and improve the mental health of children/young people through an innovative volunteer-led approach.
British Refugee Council - Health Befriending Network for Refugees and Asylum

The aims of the project are to use a volunteer befriending network to ensure that refugees and asylum seekers understand their entitlements to health and social care services. Refugees and asylum seekers experience less isolation and are better connected to their local communities, improving general health and wellbeing.

Examples of other volunteering programmes sighted in the Strategic Vision:

Dawn Patrol -
Dawn Patrol is an intergenerational project, run by the British Red Cross, in Newton. It supports independence and resilience for vulnerable older people who live alone by building links with local schools. Young volunteers (typically 8-11 years old) check on the older beneficiaries on their way to school. If the right number is not shown, the school contacts the British Red Cross who take action, starting with an unobtrusive telephone call and triggering a response if necessary.

Altogether Better - Community Health Champions -
Altogether Better has trained over 12,500 volunteer community and workplace champions who have in turn influenced the health and wellbeing of 75,000 further people within their communities. They use a community development approach to the recruitment and engagement of volunteers, building on existing networks, infrastructure and local expertise using a targeted approach to reach excluded groups. Different level of training are offered to meet different needs, from half-day sessions to accredited courses.

Notes to editors

1. For media enquiries only contact the DH news desk on 020 7210 5221.
2. The launch of the national grant scheme 2012 - interested organisations will be able to register to apply from Monday 24 October 2011. (£2.6million is allocated to this).
3.  The successful portfolio of local grant scheme 2011 projects - these 51 local organisations have been through an application and assessment process and are now live (approx £2.5 million allocated to this).
4. National organisations wanting further information or details on applying for the fund, visit:
5. A list of funding awarded to local organisations is below:

Organisation Name Funding Requested
The Thornbury Centre £50,000
Opening Doors £49,895
Hertfordshire Multiple Sclerosis Therapy Centre £48,396
Haringey Mencap LTD £46,932
Haringey Chinese Centre £50,000
Deafness Support Network £48,431
Syeda £45,155
South Somerset Mind £48,441
Shpresa Programme £45,423
Pompey Sports & Education Foundation £47,846
Lonsdale Community Centre £48,918
Home-Start Worthing & Adur £48,496
Home-Start Westminster £46,973
HALE £49,879
Foundation £49,986
County Community Projects £48,263
Cardigan Centre £49,809
Foleshill Women’s Training Ltd £50,000
Young People Cornwall £48,373
Wirral Citizens Advice Bureau £50,000
Unite - Carers in Mid Devon £46,678
UMBRELLA £46,750
Total Healthcare Groups CIC Ltd £47,258
The As You Are Centre Limited £26,517
Small Heath Community Forum £50,000
Self Help Services £48,726
Scarborough, Whitby and Ryedale Mind £48,190
Red2Green £49,284
Holy Cross Centre Trust £48,425
Hillingdon Action Group For Addiction Management £49,399
Headway Derby £49,295
Headway Cambridgeshire £49,977
Eat That Frog CIC £49,980
Deaf Direct Limited £47,593
Brighton and Hove Speak Out £47,513
Age UK Northamptonshire £50,000
Westbank Community Health and Care £44,233
Voluntary Action Ashfield £49,937
SIFA Fireside £50,000
Sheffield Alcohol Support Service £49,160
Pioneering Care Partnership £49,927
NCompass North West Ltd £44,913
Derbyshire Gypsy Liaison Group £50,000
Age UK North Tyneside £49,531
Watford Mencap £49,790
Staffordshire Moorlands Community And Voluntary Services £38,361
Age Concern Barrow and District £46,122
Faithworks Wessex £48,332
Birmingham Disability Resource Centre £49,926
Herts Mind Network £47,529
The Care Forum £48,606

Published 17 October 2011