Her Majesty the Queen hosted volunteers to celebrate the 100 years of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO).
With statistics showing that one in five people volunteer on a regular basis in the UK, helping those around us has become as British as afternoon tea. In fact, it has become such an integral part of our daily lives that further research has indicated that more than half the population giving some of their time at least once a year.
This exceptional influence in our culture is mostly due to two great British institutions, the Monarchy and the NCVO. Both of which not only champion volunteer work but has, in the process, made it rather fashionable.
In marking the 100 year celebration of the NCVO, Her Majesty the Queen hosted a reception at Windsor Castle to not only celebrate this extraordinary milestone and the work the organisation does but to meet a selection of its volunteers.
With the importance of the work that the organisation does, various other Royals came out to participate in support. Joining her mother at the reception was The Princess Royal, also nicknamed the hardest working British Royal, as well as The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester.
In the image above, her Majesty met volunteer Louise Munro who is Helpforce’s Young Volunteer of the Year. She has a chronic condition yet volunteers at hospitals to take care of the elderly, and those on orthopaedics and stroke wards.
The Queen also met an 87-year-old who has volunteered at West Suffolk Hospital three days a week for 10 years. Ron found out about volunteering when he went to visit a friend in the hospital. He says volunteering changed his life and helped him following the death of his wife.
Volunteer and Charity work is a major part of the British Royal Family’s duty and the passion for it seems to have been inherited by all members of the family. The Queen herself has over 600 patronages, which cover every area of the charity and voluntary sector.
Her Majesty supports two awards created to recognise inspirational volunteers – The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service and the Commonwealth Points of Light Award. In 2012, Her Majesty met winners of the QAVS in Glasgow during a visit to Scotland as part of her Diamond Jubilee Tour.
Above, Her Majesty The Queen is pictured at the Women’s Royal Voluntary Service at St James’s Palace, London in 1978.
The National Council for Voluntary Organisations
This year sees the NCVO celebrate its 100th Anniversary but it seems that this British institution is stronger and more dynamic than ever. Having started in 1919, they have been following a legacy from Edward Vivian Birchall, who sadly died of wounds in France during World War I.
With the world being in the place it is, we need to, perhaps now more than ever, reach out and help those around us. But with so many programmes, issues and causes around it can become quite a daunting task even just to help. That is were the NCVO comes in.
The organisation helps to connect, represent and support various causes out there. By joining this charity body they help, place voluntary organisations and volunteers to make the biggest difference they possibly can.
The organisation believes that volunteer-work should be approached from a holistic point of view, where it can actually make a lasting change rather than just to bring short-term relief.
As such, they offer a wide range of training courses in order to help various fights, contributions and change-makers become more effective. These range from project management courses tailored to the voluntary sector to help parliamentary, policy and campaigns staff develop strategies to engage with select committees and maximise their impact.
These training session cover areas such as planning and strategy, impact, governance and trustees, legal, volunteer management, funding and income, HR, communications, leadership, mentoring and befriending, campaigning and lobbing, finance, collaboration as well as IT and digital.
The NCVO is committed to supporting, enabling and celebrating volunteering in all its diversity. Volunteering is someone spending time, unpaid, doing something that aims to benefit the environment or someone who they’re not closely related to. Volunteering must be a choice freely made by each individual.
NCVO doesn’t broker or place volunteers in charities directly but they do have a selection of resources to help you find a suitable opportunity.