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29th Sep 2017 - Full Time Social Action Review | Call For Evidence

The UK Government has established an independent review of full time social action. If you have experience to share, WCVA would like to hear from you.

The review will look at legal, regulatory and other barriers that full time volunteers face and make recommendations for how full time social action can be supported in the future.

The Government currently defines social action as practical action in the service of others to create positive change; this includes fundraising, supporting charities, tutoring and mentoring, supporting other people and campaigning. The Government further defines 'full time' as, on average, at least 16 hours a week of social action activities for 6 months or more.

Full-time social action programmes provide individuals with the opportunity to carry out social action activities in the service of others. These programmes provide many benefits, not only to those whose lives are helped but also to those who take part in them. In undertaking full-time social action, full-time volunteers are able to take part in activities that provide them with meaning and purpose, and also allow them to acquire the skills and experiences they may need to transition into full-time employment or study. Social action activities might be based in charitable and voluntary organisations, schools, local communities, or health and social services departments.

Preliminary research suggests that there is no widely held definition of full-time volunteering. 'Full-time' has been used to describe low-hour, high-frequency incidences of volunteering : for instance, contributing one or two days a week for several months; as well as high-hour, low-frequency volunteering such as a one-week placement working 40 hours. In some cases, studies and surveys have left full-time undefined. This makes it difficult to compare full-time social action between different projects, countries or surveys, and limits the conclusions about the impact of full-time social action that may be drawn.

Initial research has identified a number of important knowledge gaps which the Review will investigate.  In an open call for evidence, responses are requested to the following questions:

- What experience have you had of full time social action / volunteering, either as a young person or as a provider for young people?

- What impact does full time social action / volunteering have on young people and providers in comparison to part time social action / volunteering?

- What are the barriers to full time social action / volunteering and can you give examples of how these might be overcome?

- Should there be an expansion of full time social action / volunteering opportunities for young people, and do you have any evidence of unmet need or demand?

- If you were to propose up to three things to enable more full time social action / volunteering, what would they be?

The review will gather evidence, make comparison with international schemes, identify key barriers and possible incentives and set out a vision. It will make recommendations in December to the UK Government.

If you have any further evidence or views, not covered by these questions, please don't hesitate to also include these.

If you would like to send your comments to  Fiona Liddell fliddell@wcva.org.uk by 1st October we will collate a response from  a Wales perspective and submit this on your behalf. Please note that responses are limited to 500 words, to please keep your comments brief. Only include information which you are happy for us to make public.

Alternatively you may like to respond directly to socialactionreview@culture.gov.uk.

You may also submit information that you would not want to be published, in which case this should be made very clear.

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