In a deliberate attempt to learn from the Cities of Service movement, one of our first themes for the Centre for Social Action Innovation Fund is “impact volunteering” and we’re on the lookout for programmes in England that we can invest in and help to grow.
The best example I’ve seen (so far) is happening at Kings College Hospital – the Kings Volunteers.*
It started with the simple idea of asking staff what more they would like to do to help patients but couldn’t because they didn’t have the time.
That generated a list of simple, humane acts of kindness, from welcoming and guiding people around the building, to running errands, talking to patients and holding their hands while they wait for surgery.
The hospital turned those into volunteer role descriptions and asked local people to help out. They responded in their thousands and the hospital now routinely deploys over 700 volunteers from diverse backgrounds who have all committed to regular volunteering over a year.