Scouts, NAVCA (National Association for Voluntary and Community Action) and SLQ are the first charitable organisations to lend their support to the FE sector’s new community action initiative – Good for Me Good for FE.
The campaign aims to generate £1m of social value by creating a long term, sustainable programme of community wealth. It is focused on harnessing the huge amount of fundraising and volunteering that is already taking place in colleges, while supporting more people to get involved.
With over 100 colleges signed up to the initiative, partnerships with a range of charities are being developed to help provide volunteering opportunities and ensure that offers of support from college staff and students can be fulfilled.
Scouts (www.scouts.org.uk) is currently running its own campaign to recruit volunteers. Chief Executive, Matt Hyde, says: “After having endured the most unbelievably challenging year, young people need organisations like Scouts to have fun and fulfil their potential by learning skills for life.
“Young people have not got the credit they deserve for the sacrifices they’ve made to keep older generations safe. By working with a national network of colleges we can reach thousands of potential volunteers who share our passion for supporting young people.”
NAVCA’s (www.navca.org.uk) members support over 200,000 local charities and voluntary groups across the country, helping them to thrive and deliver essential services within their communities. CEO Maddy Desforges, says: “FE colleges and voluntary and community (VCS) organisations are at the heart of their community, so we delighted to be able to work together to develop better connections and promote volunteering.
“Our network of local VCS infrastructure organisations offers a gateway into a varied range of local voluntary and community organisations right across the country, to help college students – and staff – find opportunities to make new relationships, develop their skills, and give something back to the places where they live and study. We’re looking forward to bringing our members and the Good For Me Good For FE network together.”
SLQ (www.sportsleaders.org) is a charity that provides accredited learning opportunities for volunteers to build skills for carrying out social action and volunteering through the FE network. Director of Innovation and Standards, Lucy Supperstone adds: “SLQ is delighted to be a charity partner of the Good for me Good for FE campaign and network. The Good for me Good for FE campaign highlights the fantastic role that FE colleges play in building and strengthening their surrounding community. The campaign also mirrors our own vision of helping individuals realise their own potential through building transferable skills through volunteering.
“We look forward to supporting a number of the network colleges in making volunteering accessible for all through the campaign.”
The three charities will help achieve the campaign’s aim to encourage volunteering on a national scale (NAVCA), to help provide training and support for volunteers (SLQ Sports Leaders) and to offer specific volunteering opportunities in all parts of the country (Scouts).
More charitable partners will be announced going forward, adding to the fantastic support the campaign has gained so far.
The principals leading the campaign, Jo Maher from Loughborough College, Stuart Rimmer from East Coast College and Sam Parrett from London South East Colleges, add: “We are all absolutely delighted with the response to our campaign from both colleges and the wider voluntary sector.
“Colleges are indeed Anchor Institutions and deeply rooted within their local communities. We want to maximise the impact our organisations can have – and working with partners both inside and outside the sector will help us to achieve this.
“We very much hope that our Good for Me Good for FE network will benefit Scouts, NAVCA and SLQ in their quest to attract support and volunteers. Our staff will certainly benefit from the getting involved, as we know there is a strong link between helping others and good mental health/wellbeing. It’s a win-win partnership for us all.”