Inclusion Week 2021
27 September 2021
Inclusion Week 2021 takes place from 27th September – 3rd October. Inclusion Week is designed to celebrate everyday inclusion in all its forms.
In 2017 with a few other organisations, we formed a National Strategic Group for Inclusion in Volunteering and 5 years later there are now 21 organisations part of the group.
So, why did we start this group?
Well, we wanted to listen to people who experience exclusion from volunteering so we could identify good practice to reduce barriers and enable all people to volunteer.
The groups aim is to increase understanding of inclusion by challenging stereotypes and assumptions and creating safe spaces for people to acknowledge uncertainty and exchange knowledge and skills without judgement.
We wanted to identify common themes from many groups, with a focus on empowering everyone to volunteer. We meet quarterly and have created and shared resources, including practical guidelines for volunteers and volunteer managers, to encourage and empower people to make volunteering more inclusive.
Why did others want to join the group?
“Tutoring and befriending support from volunteers is vital for the work we do at Lead Scotland and we recognise the importance of being inclusive in recruiting, training and supporting our volunteers. We were keen to be part of the National Strategic Group so we could share best practice in inclusivity and continue to learn from our colleagues at other volunteer organisations.”
– Lead Scotland
“Equality, diversity and inclusion is central to Glasgow Women's Library's work, from our volunteering programme to our events, in our lending library and museum collections. We wanted to be part of the National Strategic Group for Inclusion in Volunteering because we are always looking for ways to share our experience, support, and learn from other organisations who also want to be more inclusive and diverse.”
- Glasgow Women’s Library
“We work with refugees and asylum seekers on a daily basis. Either face to face or online. We know and understand the difficulties our community members are facing daily. Being part of the National Strategic Group means we can represent our community members and be a voice for them.”
- Govan Community Project
This Inclusion week we wanted to highlight the work we have done in the last 5 years as a group and share some of our progress with you:
- Since 2017 we have published 13 ‘Top Tips’ documents covering a range of topics from ‘Recruiting and supporting LGBT Youth Volunteers’to‘Top Tips for Inclusion of Volunteers with Vision Impairment’. These documents have been created to encourage users to think about the important things that need to be considered to ensure a positive experience for all individuals engaging in volunteering.
View all Top Tips here.
- We hosted a ‘Fireside Chat’ style workshop at Volunteer Scotlands AGM. Our presenters were members of the Inclusion Group and covered topics such as ‘Disability and volunteering’, ‘How to engage young people in volunteering’ and ‘Volunteering and refugees’.
- We hosted an ‘Inclusive Volunteering Session’ at the 2019 Festival of Volunteering where members of the Inclusion Group presented on and discussed various topics and encourage session participants to examine and explore more with us.
- We delivered an inclusion workshop to Volunteer Friendly Assessors on ‘how to make your volunteering offer more inclusive’. The session was widely well received, and attendees said ‘Very useful session with interesting discussions’ and ‘Thank you! I have learned so much today!’
If you’re organisation is interested in joining the National Strategic Group for Inclusion in Volunteering, please get in touch here.