Louise Mabley, chair of NAVSM, with Mark Lever, Chief Executive at Helpforce, at the signing ceremony of the Memorandum of Understanding.
A new collaboration forged by two leading organisations in the voluntary sector for public health has been announced, aiming to give a huge boost in support for NHS staff that manage volunteers.

Helpforce, a national charity shaping the future of volunteering in the NHS, and the National Association of Voluntary Services Managers (NAVSM), have confirmed their new working relationship. This will see the two organisations combining their strengths to ensure hundreds of Volunteer Service Managers (VSMs) and their teams across the UK have more support to manage, lead and scale their services and network with each other.

This partnership will make it easier for members to connect across the country, share best practices, and provide more training and development opportunities for VSMs and their teams. In turn, this will bring enormous benefits to the thousands of volunteers giving their time to the NHS and will provide new opportunities for clinical leaders to benefit from volunteers.

Sally Williams, Helpforce Network Manager, said:

“At Helpforce, our vision is to transform the lives of patients and NHS staff through the power of volunteering and therefore, we truly believe that a network of leaders of volunteers and clinical leaders working with volunteers is key to our success.

“We’re delighted to work alongside with NAVSM to support them and their members, encouraging them to network with us, sharing education and training opportunities for their members and allow them to use our infrastructure to share best practice. The more members of our respective organisations can share with each other, the faster changes can happen. NHS volunteers can then have the preparation and support they need to make a real difference to patients and staff.

“We look forward to this new collaboration where we can really benefit from the knowledge that NAVSM and their members have about volunteering in the NHS, and their wide connections and influence can be used to raise the profile of volunteering services within the NHS.”

Louise Mabley, chair of NAVSM, added:

“We are pleased to work in collaboration with Helpforce to support, advise and share our knowledge and expertise in voluntary management developed over 50 years.

“Together with our established network of voluntary service managers and regional Hubs, we will be able to provide an excellent platform for sharing best practice.

“Our commitment to Helpforce will be to influence policy development at a national level, inspire and contribute to the education and development of robust VSMs and their teams and to strengthen our management network within the NHS through integrated networking.”