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Age-friendly and Inclusive Volunteering Project

Our Age-friendly and Inclusive Volunteering Project ran from April 2019 to September 2020, and the latter stages were affected by the worldwide pandemic.
In our Age-friendly and Inclusive Volunteering Project, we will try to overcome barriers to volunteering that older people face. During 2019/20 we are testing out three initiatives:

1. We are developing a Volunteering Club, for older people who are taking a break from their volunteering, or older people who face barriers to volunteering. This may be due to issues around anxiety, poor mental health, lack of confidence, bereavement, or ill health. This Volunteering Club will:
- Tackle any barriers to volunteering using an “Access to Volunteering” fund
- Support people to get ready for volunteering through coaching and peer support
- Make people feel connected (through gatherings, printed news-sheets, facebook)
- Suggest new volunteering opportunities that are age-friendly
- Support easy access one-off volunteering activities to try, when each person is ready
- Offer quarterly Celebration events, to celebrate people’s achievements and promote successful outcomes

2. We are recruiting a team of older people to be Volunteer Champions – telling their own volunteering stories, and encouraging and inspiring other people of all ages to volunteer. Some of the Volunteer Champions will participate in the Volunteering Club, and support club members to get into volunteering.

3. We will train/advise Volunteer Involving Organisations (voluntary sector and statutory sector) to support them to make their volunteering opportunities more flexible, age-friendly and suitable for older people’s lives, and changes in their life circumstances. This will ensure that there are more volunteering opportunities that are age-friendly and inclusive.
Hastings Voluntary Action is one of five organisations in England to be awarded a one-year grant through the Age-friendly and Inclusive Volunteering Fund. This fund was launched following a review of community contributions in later life, conducted by the Centre for Ageing Better in partnership with the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and the National Lottery Community Fund.

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