Cultural Volunteer September 2011

Welcome to September’s edition of Cultural Volunteer

Apologies for the absence over the summer. There’s not been a huge amount of relevant news emerging, but there are some interesting bits and pieces reported below. I think I’m getting there with my subscriber database but, as last time, please let me know if you’re getting more than one email from me.

 In this issue …

 ‘Culture and Volunteering’ – A free publication

Culture and Volunteering is an introduction to volunteering across the arts and cultural sector in London. It’s a mix of a short case studies and best practice checklists. Its value lies mostly in demonstrating the diversity of cultural activities volunteers can get involved in.

Arts Professional Special on Volunteering

On 6 July, Arts Professional magazine had a special on volunteering. You can read my contribution on what successful volunteer programmes feel like , and if you register on their web site and search on ‘volunteer’ you’ll be to access the many other useful articles.

Internships

The debate about voluntary internships raged over the summer. A Museums Association poll found that seven in 10 respondents thought unpaid internships were exploitative. This Government also published a Best Practice Code for High Quality Internships which recommends that internships should be paid if they are not a compulsory part of a university course. It all felt a bit like all volunteer internships were at best exploitative and at worst just plain wrong, which I’m sure many of us disagree with, but there were rightly clear messages about the need for equality in opportunity and flexibility.

Volunteering England stepped up to the plate and issued new guidance on Internships, including advice on how to set up a mutually beneficial programme. You should read this if you’re involving volunteers as interns since it clarifies the legal issues around involving interns as volunteers or workers.

I should be in a position to share more detailed thoughts on voluntary internships in the next issue.

‘Job replacement’ again

Those of you who were interested in my article on job replacement might like to see what Volunteering England have to say on what they call ‘job substitution’. Rob Jackson and I adapted my article for the wider voluntary sector which was published on The Guardian’s Voluntary Sector Network.

European Year of Volunteering 2011

Arts & Business is an official partner for the European Year of Volunteering and as such is leading on the arts and culture theme in England.

A&B aim to recruit a new generation of people willing to give their time to the arts, adding value by leveraging its business network, offering volunteers who can advise and help on topics from marketing to business planning, from digital to accountancy.

A&B has created interactive forms on its website where arts organisations can register their volunteering opportunities and volunteers can search for placements.

During the coming six months, A&B will be:

• running a series of volunteering matching events in major cities across the country where you can meet and network with volunteers
• running a targeted campaign to increase interest in volunteering generally in the arts and culture
• celebrating and thanking volunteers in the arts for their contributions at a number of high impact networking events
• keeping you up to date with networking and matching events through their website

The matchmaking events are:

London, Tuesday 13 September, 6 – 8pm, Deutsche Bank

Birmingham, Monday 19 September, 6 – 8pm, Etc. Venues

Bristol, Tuesday 27 September, 6 – 8pm, TLT LLP, Bristol

Manchester, Monday 3 October, 6.30-8.30pm, People’s History Museum

Leeds, Tuesday 11 October, 6 – 8pm, Royal Armouries

London, Time and venue TBC 

That’s it for this issue. As always, please let me know if you’d like to comment or contribute.

Best wishes

Lynn

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