Poverty Leadership Panel
We are currently working with partners on the Volunteering elements of the Poverty Leadership Panel’s Action Plan for Change.
Our shared ‘goal’ is to ensure that, “Volunteering is recognised as having value in itself and people living in poverty can access volunteering opportunities.”
The Panel agreed a position statement on volunteering in April 2014:
The Poverty Leadership Panel believes that everyone should be free to choose to volunteer their time, energy and skills for the benefit of their community.
Volunteering is valuable to the life of the city because it benefits both our communities and the people that volunteer – in terms of wellbeing, employability and social inclusion. The chance to volunteer is therefore particularly important for many people living in poverty in Glasgow.
It is in everyone’s interests that the freedom to volunteer is not unreasonably restricted, particularly for those people who are seeking asylum or are in receipt of benefits.
We ask that the Home Office and the Department for Work and Pensions work with the Panel to clarify their guidelines and processes regarding volunteering. This will facilitate the participation of people currently excluded from these opportunities.
Increasing opportunities to volunteer is part of our ambitions for a people’s legacy from the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.
- Subsequently, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) clarified their guidance, and the Panel’s Volunteering (WORTH) Group members have developed, agreed, and updated their call for changes in welfare benefits rules on volunteering: you can download a copy from this link
- In February 2017, DWP published new, up to date guidance on volunteering for all welfare benefit claimants – on the basis of a collaborative, co-design process driven by the work of the Panel, which we co-facilitated with the active involvement of people volunteering and claiming benefits – in partnership with Trust Volunteering Inverclyde, Voluntary Action Scotland, Volunteer Edinburgh, Voluntary Action Fife, all the other Third Sector Interfaces (TSIs) across Scotland and Citizens Advice Scotland.
- Whilst we know that volunteering can have a very positive impact on people’s employability, the Panel is concerned that we should also value volunteering for many more reasons, not least, for improving the health and wellbeing of everyone involved.
- We also know that people living with poverty are under-represented in volunteering and face a range of barriers to involvement.
We are looking forward to continuing to work productively with Panel members and the staff, volunteers, and Directors of Glasgow Disability Alliance, the Scottish Refugee Council, Glasgow Life, GCVS, the city’s Citizens Advice Bureaux, DWP, and many others.
You can find out more – about all of the Poverty Leadership Panel’s work – on the Panel’s website