Developing volunteering in Merton

In 2012 the Merton Partnership funded MVSC to deliver the Volunteering and Community Action Strategy. MVSC has been delivering a number of discrete projects and ongoing programmes of work with partners. In March 2015 MVSC presented an update on the strategy:

  • MVSC ran a programme called Shout About Your Volunteering to show the exciting and varied ways in which individuals can give their time locally. We continue to add examples of how local people contribute by volunteering, and these can be found on our Looking for Inspiration? page.
  • The Merton Partnership Volunteering Awards were held on 11th June. Over 200 people attended the event, with 25 organisations holding a stall in our new recruitment 'marketplace'. Food was donated by a local church and the event was supported by our Team Merton stewards.
  • Informal and 'lighter touch' volunteering opportunities have been developed including 'Neighbour to Neighbour', 'Out and About', and one off opportunities such as Team Merton, which have been able to support events over the year e.g. Ride London, Legends Rugby Festival, Free The Children WE Day, Mitcham Carnival, Winter Wonderland and Light Up Morden. In addition Team Merton volunteers have been involved in one-off community action opportunities such as litter picking and neighbourhood clean up campaigns.
  • February 2015 saw the launch of the Merton Befriending Service pilot, funded by Public Health and a partnership between Age UK, Wimbledon Guild, Carers Support Merton, MVSC and Positive Network.
  • MVSC, with the support of Circle Housing and the backing of LBM Children Schools and Families, is piloting the Youth Approved Volunteering Award (YAVA), a new quality mark to improve the standard of volunteering opportunities and experiences for young people.
  • MVSC Supported Volunteering Team saw the launch of the Avanti Club, a peer support group for mental health service users, which provides regular meetings and activities, but also encourages group volunteering, led by a peer support volunteer. This allows volunteer involving organisations to take on a volunteer with support issues in the knowledge that they will receive support in the placement.
  • Trustee's week campaign launched in Merton in November 2014, with a successful speed networking event held at Geeks, Morden.
  • Projects are being developed in partnership with Merton Council, under the banner of involving volunteers to add value to public services. This will give the chance for local residents to contribute to their community.

For more information about the strategy contact Sarah Hannigan, Head of Volunteering, on sarah@mvsc.co.uk or 020 8685 1771.