The VEnable project was developed in response to issues relating to volunteering and health identified through the delivery of the Refreshed Strategy for Volunteering in NHS Scotland (launched in 2008) in addition to as the growing challenges associated with Scotland’s ageing population. The project was experimental, testing various approaches to methodology with a vital aspect of the work being to capture key learning to share more widely.

The project was delivered from November 2011 to December 2012 and was led by Volunteer Development Scotland (VDS) in partnership with NHS Tayside, with support from the Scottish Government Health Directorates. It involved a literature review of evidence, followed by research to map how volunteering contributes to older people’s health and care in Tayside.

The work sought to identify key needs or gaps in support for older people where volunteers could potentially play a vital role. Considerable challenges were identified in addition to positive examples of approaches to involving volunteers which have the potential to be widely replicated.

Here are the main resources produced as part of the VEnable project.

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Desk Review - Older People and Volunteering. 
The first stage of VEnable was a desk based review of current literature, good practice and policy relating to volunteers, older people and health and care outcomes. This was completed in November 2011.

Final Report - 
This report highlights the key objectives, intended outcomes, methodology, conclusions and recommendations from the VEnable project.

Good Practice Examples - This captures some of the activities and projects volunteers are involved in which were highlighted as part of the project. Examples include The Food Train and GP Listening project. 

Learning Log - 
This provides a brief summary of the key learning from the VEnable project including what worked well and challenges.

Summary Report - The summary presents findings from the VEnable pilot (2011-2012) led by Volunteer Development Scotland (VDS) in partnership with NHS Tayside, with support from the Scottish Government Health Directorates.

Ann Graham, Senior Charge Nurse from NHS Tayside shares how volunteering has helped add value to the delivery of patient services on her ward at Ninewells hospital.