Charities come together to discover how to attract and keep volunteers


Three of the community's leading communal care organisations, Jewish Care, Norwood and Manchester Federation of Jewish Services, ran their first cross-communal volunteering event.

The one-day seminar, held in central London, attracted 46 delegates from 18 Jewish care and support organisations who explored the importance of volunteering within the Jewish community, how to attract younger volunteers, creating opportunities for volunteers, as well as the opportunities presented from working together.

Sonia Douek, head of volunteering and community development at Jewish Care, and one of the main organisers, said: "This event has been a great way to start to build strong networks between Jewish voluntary organisations that provide care, welfare or community support, so that we can continue to share ideas and good practice."

Keynote speaker John Ramsey of Age UK stressed the importance of demonstrating volunteering's value and benefit to clients and the wider community. "The management of volunteering needs investment. All the research shows that those volunteers who have good management create services that have better outcomes. We should be discussing volunteering at board levels as often as we do finance."

Another organiser, Karen Phillips, chief executive of Manchester Federation of Jewish Services, said: "I am delighted to have the opportunity to work collaboratively with Jewish Care and Norwood, in looking at ways to share our expertise and good practice with each other and with smaller organisations that provide volunteer led services."

Andrea Kelmanson, a Norwood Trustee with responsibility for volunteering, said it was important for Jewish organisations to come together to discuss issues of common interest. "Raising the profile of volunteering in the current climate can only be a good thing."

Other organisations who attended included AJR, Birmingham Community Jewish Care, Jami, Jewish Care Glasgow, Nicky Alliance Day Centre, Manchester and Nightingale.

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