New fund to improve volunteer centres in London

£500,000 from Big Lottery Fund to pay for training and salaries of five workers

The Big Lottery Fund will provide £500,000 to improve the performance of volunteer centres in Greater London.

The grant, to be given over three years, will fund the £27,500 salaries of five sub-regional workers responsible for encouraging more volunteer-involving organisations to register with Greater London's 32 volunteer centres.

The new workers will also draw up a charter of best practice in volunteer management and encourage volunteer-involving agencies to sign it.

Greater London Volunteering, the lead body for the scheme, aims to improve knowledge of best practice in 540 voluntary and community sector organisations.

The fund will pay for training for volunteer managers and will cover volunteer centres' costs in hosting the new workers. It will also fund volunteer-involving organisations to gather feedback on the impact of best practice guidance on volunteers' experiences.

Kerry Tweed, director of Greater London Volunteering, said resources to increase the capacity of volunteer centres were essential. "Volunteer centres are at the limit of their capacity to respond to demand and ensure people have a good volunteering experience. This project will provide them with extra resources, and a coordinated approach to improving volunteering," she said.

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