Decision - The Power of Volunteering

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Decision details

The Power of Volunteering

Decision Maker: Neighbourhoods, Communities and Equalities Committee

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No


48.1    The Committee considered a report of the Assistant Chief Executive detailing the rationale for and asking the Committee to sign up to “The Power of Volunteering”, the new volunteering pledge for the City.


48.2    The Head of Communities and Equality, Emma Mc Dermott explained that the previous volunteering strategy “Joining the Dots” had been developed in 2010 and had provided a detailed understanding of the volunteering situation and priorities within the city. “The Power of Volunteering aimed to build on that work and to act as a call to action for public service organisations and voluntary sector organisations as well as businesses and individuals to engage with volunteering. This new pledge had been developed by the city wide volunteering champions group on behalf of Brighton and Hove Connected (the city’s Local Strategic Partnership). This group consisted of representatives from across the public, community and voluntary sector and had been responsible for the city’s previous volunteering strategy “Joining the Dots”.


48.3    Councillor Moonan welcomed the report which she considered represented an important piece of work which going forward would provide an updated strategy which would seek to ensure that the valuable resource provided by those carrying out volunteering work in the city was maximised.


48.4    Councillor Hill also commended the report citing the improvements that could be effected to a community as a result of work carried out by volunteers for instance in her own ward where the community café in Hollingdean had use of use of a Council building and provided a much valued community hub. A lot had been learned up which could be applied elsewhere across the city, and there were areas where improvements could be effected.


48.5    Councillor Littman welcomed the report, stating, however that it was important that the current level of support to voluntary groups be sustained. In the face of continuing budgetary pressures year on year, it was important that the Council did not make commitments/raise expectations which could not be met.


48.6    Councillor Gibson sought information regarding the structures in place to deliver the arrangements outlined. Essentially he considered that there needed to be twofold at both a formal and informal level. Overall, it was important to foster a greater sense of neighbourliness within communities, which would in turn help to achieve better outcomes.


48.7    The Chair agreed that work did need to be carried out both formally and informally and that “space” needed to be allowed in order for that to happen. The work being undertaken and in signing up to the “Partnership” Pledge marked the start of that process. Ultimately, due in part to the on-going pressures that had been identified, very different mechanisms and working practices needed to be put into place.


48.8    The Head of Communities and Equalities, Emma Mc Dermott, stressed that the “Power of Volunteering” aimed to build on the work carried out to date and to act as a call to action for public service organisations and voluntary sector organisations as well as businesses and individuals to engage with volunteering.


48.9    RESOLVED – (1) That the Committee agrees to sign up to the Partnership Pledge (“The Pledge)” included in the “Power of Volunteering” document set out in appendix 1 to the report on behalf of Brighton & Hove City Council;


            (2) That the Committee endorses the Council’s involvement in the Volunteering Champions Group to support the co-ordination and promotion of volunteering across the city; and


            (3) That the Committee notes that a further report will be brought to Committee by the Assistant Chief Executive on council plans to support and develop volunteering activity as part of the action plan developed from the pledge.

Report author: Sam Warren

Publication date: 09/03/2016

Date of decision: 25/01/2016

Decided at meeting: 25/01/2016 - Neighbourhoods, Communities and Equalities Committee

Accompanying Documents:


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