Big Society just got small – government campaigns reduce volunteering!

The JVN team has been quite amazingly busy here over the last week, even for us. Since last Thursday, we’ve had a coffee morning at the Chief Rabbi’s house hosted by Lady Sacks; a Volunteer Coordinators Networking Forum; the launch event for the Jewish Committee for the London Games (JCLG) and – if that wasn’t quite enough! – JVN’s first ever fundraising event at Everyman Cinema Belsize Park. More of this all in a blog later this week – by which time we hope at least to have downloaded all the photos!!!

In the meantime, I happened to notice the findings from an incredibly thought-provoking piece of research released today – compiled by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NVCO), the Institute for Volunteering Research (IVR) and the think tank Involve. The research called Pathways Through Participation found that government attempts to encourage people to get involved in volunteering can actually actively discourage people from volunteering, no matter the party in power.

I’m no politician, but this is certainly something that highlights how volunteering really is about grassroots efforts and people getting engaged in things that they personally do care about, not things they should care about!

What do you think? Do you agree with the findings of the report? Has a government scheme ever tempted you to volunteer?



Categories: Leonie's View


Hi, I'm Mike, JVN's Youth Co-ordinator and blogger. I'll be blogging about all sorts of issues affecting the volunteering community, with a particular focus on how recent developments might affect the UK Jewish community's volunteers. I'm always interested to read the comments you make. If you have something you want to see in the JVN blog, e-mail me at and I'll be happy to talk. And if you're inspired by any of my blogs to volunteer, log on to and register to find your perfect volunteering opportunity.


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