Active Kindness 2024 Cohort – Information Sheet 

Applications are now open for the 2024 cohort of the Active Kindness programme. We are looking for 10 new trusts to join the programme which will run from 07/05/24 – 06/05/25. 

For the 2024 Cohort we are most interested in hearing from Trusts based in Scotland and Wales. 

Established Practical Help & Resources 

Trusts can access and use the Volunteer Management Toolkit co-created by NCVO and the 14 Active Kindness trusts who participated in the programme in 2022 and 2023. The toolkit provides an overview of many topics that are central to establishing a robust and sustainable volunteering model. Alongside this, trusts can benefit from listening to the Active Kindness Podcast which is designed to complement the toolkit and provide more nuanced discussions about the practical challenges of implementing changes within trusts. 

One-to-One Support 

Trusts will benefit from structured one-to-one support from the programme manager at CLUK, through scheduled check in meetings and the availability of ongoing ad hoc help if needed. At the outset of the programme, trusts will be supported to produce an Action Plan setting out their goals and aspirations in line with their own local demographics and communities. 

The Action Plan is a living document that can be amended and revised as time goes on to reflect the changing landscape of volunteering within the trust. Ideally the Action Plan will provide measurable KPIs e.g. goals for numbers of volunteers recruited, target areas, if this is appropriate. The trust’s progress towards the goals stated in its Action Plan will be monitored through check in meetings and informal progress monitoring. 

Learning Curriculum 

CLUK will work in partnership with volunteer development experts to develop and deliver a curriculum of monthly training and development workshops. Workshops will focus on both practical topics and more theoretical aspects of volunteering, ensuring participants have a comprehensive understanding of how they can best support and develop their volunteering models. Where appropriate, guest speakers will be invited to the workshops to provide input where appropriate. Feedback from surveys sent to workshop attendees in 2023 showed 100% of respondents rated the quality of the workshops 4 or 5 out of 5.   

Peer Network 

The 2024 Cohort will form a support network for all participating trusts with likeminded participants forming strong and beneficial working relationships.   

The peer network of trusts working through their action plans with regular meetings will facilitate accountability, the sharing and testing of ideas and provide a strong foundation for growth and collaboration within the programme and beyond the end of the 12-month participation period. 

Volunteer Management Software 

Trusts will be invited to utilise bespoke volunteer management software designed exclusively for CLUK members, to enable recruitment of volunteers and meaningful volunteer engagement. This software will also establish a peer-to-peer support network which can be used by Trust staff and volunteers across the membership, fostering a sense of community and collaboration. The software will empower Trusts to collect and disseminate data on their volunteering programmes, as well as providing CLUK with national view of the data across members, giving a pioneering insight into volunteering in public leisure and culture. 

The 2024 cohort will be given the tools they need to successfully showcase the social impact of their work. By engaging the expertise of social value consultants and our social value lead at CLUK, we will create a tool to quantitatively measure the social value of their volunteering programmes, using the data collected by the volunteer management software.     

How to apply? 

Please note, if there are more trusts interested than spaces for the cohort, the unsuccessful trusts will still be able to join the Volunteering Special Interest Group and can apply again in subsequent years. 

  • Trusts are informed if they have been selected – w/c 29th April 2024. 
  • One to one meeting with CLUK to take place in May 2024. 
  • First Peer Network meeting to take place in June 2024. 

Important criteria for trusts to consider in their applications:  

Trusts must be committed to revitalising their volunteering model, with a desire to proactively engage in the programme, attend meetings, proactively feedback learning, good practice and reflections to the other trusts and to CLUK through meetings and workshops. 

Trusts must appoint a member of staff to be the designated project lead, with protected time to engage with the programme. Ideally a second member to staff will be appointed to provide support to the project lead, to remain aware of volunteering developments in the trust, and to attend meetings in the project lead’s absence. 

Trusts will have (or will be committed to create) a volunteer development working group to support the delivery of the project with membership with representation from staff at levels appropriate to ensure delivery of the trust’s goals. 

Trusts must commit to share data and information with CLUK and the programme’s evaluation partners to enable evaluation and reporting on the programme to the National Lottery against the agreed KPIs. 

Programme Principles and Aspirations 

CLUK are delighted to have received funding for this project from the UK Fund, part of the National Lottery Community Fund. The UK Fund’s aim is to support communities to come together, to strengthen relationships between people who have had different experiences of life and to help make sure people from all backgrounds can shape the future of their communities.  

Volunteerism is a critical mechanism by which social inclusion can be promoted… With its universality and value base, volunteerism opens up powerful pathways by which people can find their way out of exclusion” United Nations Volunteers Issue Brief January 2014 

CLUK strongly believes in the potential for trusts to use volunteering to build bridges between communities that have struggled to connect; to amplify volunteer voices and collaborate with them to design services for those groups which have been historically under-represented in leisure and cultural activities. Our programme hopes to equip trusts with the resources needed to collaborate with their communities, co-produce services, break down barriers and create an inclusive, accessible and equitable future for public leisure and culture.  

Key to this is the recruitment of volunteers from currently under-represented demographics – we know that those who do not currently volunteer, or take part in movement and physical activity, stand to benefit the most from doing so. We encourage the recruitment of volunteers from under-represented demographics, including but not limited to: disabled people, refugees and asylum seekers, the LGBTQI+ community, people who identify as women, and lower socioeconomic communities. 

Trusts are encouraged to collaborate stakeholders in their communities who are involved with underrepresented groups, for example GP surgeries, local charities, schools in priority areas and social housing organisations. Trusts can recruit volunteers to diversify the faces greeting customers at their centres and change perceptions about what ‘sort’ of person the trust is there for and introduce thoughtful volunteer roles specifically targeted at breaking down barriers to participation. 

To find out more about the work done by Active Kindness alumni trusts in 2022 and 2023, please take a look at the Active Kindness Evaluation Report. If you have any questions or would like to discuss your application prior to submission, please email [email protected]