Issue - meetings

Establishing an Independent Volunteer Centre (IVC) in Gateshead

Meeting: 14/09/2021 - Cabinet (Item 64)

Establishing an Independent Volunteer Centre in Gateshead

Report of the Strategic Director, Housing, Environment and Healthy Communities


Consideration has been given to a partnership proposal between the Council and Connected Voice to create an independent Volunteer Centre to serve the people of Gateshead.




The alternative option to that being recommended, but which was discounted, included undertaking a competitive tendering process to develop the Volunteer Centre.






That the establishment of an Independent Volunteer Centre in Gateshead be approved.






That the designation of the Service Director for Voluntary and Community Sector Development as the Strategic Lead for Volunteering within Gateshead Council be approved.






That a grant to Connected Voice of the amount set out in the report, to be paid over three years to deliver the outputs listed in the report be approved.






That officers exploring, subject to identifying the correct legal process, opportunities to use the existing Council volunteering resource within the Volunteer Centre be approved.






That an additional investment of the amount set out in the report, to be paid over three years, to establish the strategic role for the Volunteer Centre to support Council transformation and one Gateshead approach to volunteering be approved.






That officers exploring how the Volunteer Centre links into the Councils employability offer be approved.






That officers exploring Council assets to find suitable premises from which to operate the Volunteer Centre and provide value for money be approved.




The above decisions have been made for the following reasons:






The Volunteer Centre and volunteering is a key tool for the Council to deliver the objectives set out in the Health and Wellbeing Strategy.






Volunteering is recognised as an aid to wellbeing, increasing confidence, building skills and self-esteem.






Volunteering offers employability skills and is an established pathway to employment, complementing the Gateshead Council employability service.






The Volunteer Centre provides an opportunity to build on the Council’s declared intention to rebalance Voluntary Community and Social Enterprise relationships, using resources and assets to enable their activity and maximise the collective impact.






The creation of a volunteer strategy for Gateshead will enable a Borough wide, cross sector approach to volunteering to be established.






There is an existing trusted relationship with Connected Voice and a history of supporting volunteering.