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LAST MODIFIED ON: 28/06/2020
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Policy responsibility for volunteering in Wales is not centralised, but largely lies with the Department for Education and Minister for Education. The Government of Wales Act 2006 outlines provision of services “to participate effectively in the life of their communities” as the remit for the Department of Education. Welsh Ministers meet with representatives of voluntary organisations covering their areas of responsibility on a regular basisas a key element of the wider Welsh government’s relationship with the third sector.
The Third Sector Partnership Council (TPSC) is the body that represents the Welsh Government in their work with voluntary organisations. TPSC is chaired by the Minister responsible for the Third Sector Scheme and is made up of representatives of third sector networks working across 25 areas of third sector activity along with the Chief Executive Officer of Wales Council Voluntary Action. It is responsible for making recommendations to the government on key objectives regarding the Third Sector as well as implementation, monitoring and review of the Third Sector Scheme.
Third Sector Support Wales (TSSW) is a network of support organisations for the whole of the third sector in Wales. It consists of the 19 local and regional support bodies across Wales, the County Voluntary Councils (CVCs) and the national support body, Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA).
Third Sector Support Wales (TSSW) supports volunteer recruitment and placement through the Volunteering Wales (formerly GwirVol)website - the digital volunteering platform from TSSW.Volunteering Wales) is a partnership between the voluntary, community, public and private sectors which is led by the views of young people in Wales. It was originally established to implement the outcomes of the Russell Commission in Wales (see the sub-section on 'Historical Developments'). The Volunteering Wales partnership is responsible for:
- reviewing and updating the strategic direction of Volunteering Wales
- ensuring the best interests of young people are represented in taking forward the strategy
- co-ordinating the promotion of Volunteering Wales to key audiences
- inviting relevant parties to become a part of the initiative through working groups
- monitoring and reviewing the distribution of funding and make recommendations on future distribution of funds
- ensuring the views of other relevant stakeholders are communicated and cascaded.
Volunteering Wales has 22 part-time Youth Voluntary Advisors based in volunteer centres around Wales, called County Voluntary Councils. The YVAs are there to offer advice and information to young people about how to become a volunteer. They help young people identify volunteering opportunities and support them as they begin their volunteering.
The administrative functions of Volunteering Wales are undertaken by theWales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA), the national membership body for voluntary organisations in Wales. It has the legal responsibility for funding and the delivery of the agreed policy direction as determined by any agreement with the Welsh Government and other funding sources. It is also responsible for:
- enacting the agreed decisions of the steering group
- administering grants, through agreed protocols, to support advice, information and capacity building
- commissioning research, monitoring and evaluating the impact of the initiative
- communicating to partners, youth volunteer advisors and organisations on the agreed direction of the partnership
- ongoing funding/sponsorship bids
- co-ordinating the youth volunteer advisors
- servicing meetings of the steering group
- ensuring measures to maintain young people’s ongoing involvement as partners.
WCVA partners help to steer the direction of the initiative and are involved in its steering group, working groups and grants panels. They promote the initiative and consult with their members and networks over important issues. They all have a commitment to involving young people. The list of GwirVol partners is:
- Third Sector Partnership Council (part of the Department for Education and Public Services)
- Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, the largest health organisation in Wales, providing a full range of primary, community, mental health and acute hospital services for North Wales
- CWVYS, Council for Wales of Voluntary Youth Services
- WACVC (Wales Association of County Voluntary Councils), a network of support organisations across Wales which help people who are inspired to make a positive difference to their communities
- UNA Exchange, which promotes and supports international understanding, cultural exchange and community development whilst at the same time enabling volunteers’ personal growth & development
- Young Dragons / Dreigiau Ifanc, an initiative of The Prince of Wales which brings together all the uniformed youth groups (the Scouts, Girlguiding, St John Cymru, Army Cadet Force, Air Training Corps, Sea Cadet Corps, Police Cades, Fire Cadets, Boys Brigade), young people from other parts of the community and places of education, so as to increase the scale, quality of opportunities and adventure for young people to volunteer with the uniformed groups, the community and together as a group for the benefit of others
- GwirForce, the panel of volunteers aged between 14 and 25, who are committed to promoting and driving forward youth volunteering in Wales
- Youth Cymru, which aims to support and enable young people to become active citizens through appropriate activity and learning, and promoting their participation in decision making. The organisation provides training for youth work professionals and other professionals and volunteers working with young people, and for young people themselves
- WJEC, a Welsh examination board providing qualifications and exam assessment in schools and colleges
- Workers in Student Community Volunteering (WiSCV), represented byStudent Volunteering Bangor
- Street Games, which helps to make sport accessible to young people living in areas of high deprivation across the UK, and in particular Communities 1st areas in Wales
- Urdd Gobaith Cymru, a Welsh-medium youth movement which aims to provide the opportunity, through the medium of Welsh, for the children and young people in Wales to become fully rounded individuals, developing personal and social skills that will enable them to make a positive contribution to the community
- Careers Wales
- WCVA (Wales Council for Voluntary Action), which is the national membership organisation for the Third Sector and volunteering in Wales. Its aim is to make Wales a better place by championing volunteering, voluntary organisations and community groups.
- CSV (Community Service Volunteers, now VolunteeringMatters) develops and delivers high impact volunteer-led solutions across the UK in response to some of the most difficult challenges facing individuals and their communities today. They focus on the needs of four distinct communities; young people, disabled people, families and older people.