The volunteering conference in 2015 took place in the splendour of Glasdir conference centre in Llanrwst. Different vocabularies are associated with volunteering in different contexts, and this was a connecting theme throughout the day.

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We heard about the growing interest in the concept of wellbeing, including in government policy-making circles and about  the five hallmarks of wellbeing, namely  connect, be active, take notice, keep learning and give. 

Volunteering clearly has a key role in the promotion of wellbeing - both through the impact of volunteers on beneficiaries in the community and its impact on volunteers themselves.

Volunteering and the wellbeing agenda Dafydd Thomas, The Wellbeing Planner

Volunteering and Wellbeing - an article by Fiona Liddell 

For some, volunteering is a means to an end and the goal is employment. It is about gaining skills and experience, testing a career or exposure to a structured working environment.

Volunteering for employability John Bisby, Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)

Volunteering pathways Jan Balsdon, The Wallich

Not surprisingly the language we use in promoting volunteering must we tailored to our audience.   The key messages to communicate to volunteers who want to get involved for pleasure and community mindedness will be different from those for those who are on a pathway to work.   In the case of the Outdoor Partnership it was also important to find the right way to convince community organisations of the value and potential of taking volunteering seriously.

Communicating volunteering for all Tracey Evans, The Outdoor Partnership / Partneriaeth Awyr Agored

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board  has (in addition to its successful 'Robins' ward volunteering scheme)  been piloting the development of 'Critical Friends': retired nursing professionals who give of their expertise in advising and supporting  clinical audit and  review processes.  This voluntary involvement in health service delivery is an example of  putting people at the centre  - a new relationship between people and their public services.

'Critical friends' in the health service Angela Hopkins, Betsi Cadwaladr UHB / Bwrdd Iechyd Prifysgol Betsi Cadwaladr

Links to workshop presentations:
Communication and conflict Val Connelly and Tegan Sollis, Association of Voluntary Organisations in Wrexham (AVOW) / Cymdeithas Mudiadau Gwirfoddol Wrecsam

Volunteering for employability - working with DWP locally Debbie Hawkes, Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) / Adran Gwaith a Phensiynau

Engaging employee volunteers Jan Smith, Community and Voluntary Support Conwy (CVSC) / Cyngor Gwasanaethau Gwirfoddol and Kate Harcus, AVOW

Writing volunteer-friendly policies Fiona Liddell, WCVA

See a roundup of the day as told on social media 

See also the information sheet   The Language of Volunteering - terms explained