This volunteering conference in July 2014 looked at how we can positively influence the policy landscape in ways that allow volunteering to flourish.

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Within our organisation
, we can influence senior managers and Board members, making good use of the voice and experience of volunteers to add weight to our arguments. 

Written guidance on this has been requested for use by organisations that are seeking to bring about changes in order to achieve the Investing in Volunteers standard. This will be available in autumn 2014.

At a local level we can build partnerships with others, take local planning agendas seriously whilst demonstrating our credibility through delivering our core services well.

Nationally we can lobby government bodies and others to change legislation, policies or practice in ways that will help our cause.

An example of campaigning for change was given at the conference by Emma Makarova, Volunteering Manager, Refugee Action. Emma could not be present in person, but made her contribution by video.

There are channels for volunteer managers to raise issues and have their say in Wales, locally through volunteer manager forums, organised by many local Volunteer Centres/ County Voluntary Councils and nationally through the Wales Volunteering Policy Network

Easy access volunteering (Hywel Dda University Health Board)
The Volunteering for Health team has reappraised its volunteering policies and procedures in order to be able to accommodate the needs of volunteers with learning disabilities.
Easy access volunteering - presentation notes

Increasing young people's participation in sport in disadvantaged areas -  (Street Games & Sport Wales Young Ambassadors) 
Traditional approaches to involving volunteers in sports activities in disadvantaged areas have not always resulted in high levels of participation. A partnership approach based on co-operation between Sport Wales, GwirVol, Street Games and Sports Leaders UK and Young Ambassadors has aimed to change both participation levels and the image of young people in disadvantaged areas.

Increasing young people's participation in sport - presentation notes  

Developing Volunteer-led services - (Macmillan Cancer Support) 
UK wide Macmillan research identified that people affected by cancer felt "abandoned" after treatment and highlighted a need for practical and emotional support in the community. This led to the development of volunteer-led services, in 12 areas across the UK, including in west Wales. Now entering its second year the scheme has recruited volunteers and taken its first referrals.

Developing volunteer - led services - presentation notes

Volunteer referrals from Working Links.  (WCVA /Volunteer Centres)
Successful negotiation with Working Links for volunteer centres and volunteer involving organisations to receive payment for support offered to their clients.

Volunteer referrals from working Links - presentation notes
The Volunteering Mile - Jeremy Rees  (VCS)     
Preliminary work is underway in support of a lottery bid for a project which will foster local partnerships, community development and volunteering including Employer Supported Volunteering in Butetown, Cardiff.

The volunteering mile - presentation notes

Improving  young volunteers' experience in Job Centres  (GwirVol Youth Panel)
Working with Job Centre Plus to improve the experience of young people in job centres, by improving understanding about volunteering and benefits.

Improving young volunteers' experience in Job Centres - presentation notes

Read our WCVA blog post about the conference, which  includes slides from the main presentations

And see a round of the day as told on social media