18 charities, including the NSPCC, join forces to ‘Shape the Future with Volunteering’

We’re part of a group of 18 of the country’s leading volunteer-involving charities who have launched our shared commitment to support all communities across the UK to be dynamic and welcoming places for volunteering. 


Volunteering helps create the kind of society we all want to live in. Over the past year some volunteering roles were reduced or put on hold, but others – such as mutual aid programmes – have been key contributors, supporting neighbours and local communities.

The COVID-19 pandemic has created a chance for long-term change where everyone can make a difference in our society.  We’ve seen this last year more than 12 million volunteers have contributed to the wellbeing of people in every city, town, village and community, and we want to see this continue to grow. 

Alongside other charities like British Red Cross, Samaritans, and RNLI, we’re working together as part of the ‘Shaping the Future with Volunteering group.

In our group Position Statement, we have collectively identified key volunteering opportunities which include supporting COVID recovery, building volunteers’ own wellbeing and working with diverse communities.

The focus of the Shaping the Future with Volunteering group is on 4 strategic priorities:

  • Understanding: Promoting better understanding and celebrating the power of volunteering
  • Inclusion: Sharing a commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion, learning from the best examples of volunteer engagement across diverse demographics, geographies and cultures
  • Support: Learning more about valuing volunteers and how they can be better supported and making sure systems are accessible to everyone
  • Partnerships: Working with other volunteer-involving organisations of all shapes and sizes, learning from each other and working closely with government, business and other agencies.


All the charities in the Group will be recognising this amazing contribution by joining in Thank You Day on Sunday July 4.

The ‘Shaping the Future with Volunteering’ group is co-chaired by Royal Voluntary Service CEO, Catherine Johnstone CBE and Matt Hyde OBE, Chief Executive at Scouts.

Catherine Johnstone CBE, CEO Royal Voluntary Service said: 

“We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create a bigger and broader civic society which will build stronger communities.  Millions of people have stepped forward during the pandemic for the first time and while supporting others in their hour of need, they have benefited themselves in so many ways.  I have been humbled by what I have seen through our work with the NHS on the frontline, our volunteers have supported those in great need, often out of their comfort zone, but rising to the challenge.  In return they found new confidence, a sense of community and belonging and a feel-good-factor which comes from doing something of real value.

We have come together as national charities to build on this momentum.  We know change is needed if we are to make the most of this incredible chance and we are determined to seize the moment.”

Sarah Vibert, Interim CEO at NCVO (the National Council for Voluntary Organisations) said:

“Volunteers will continue to play a vital part in our recovery, just as they have in responding to the pandemic. But we’re now at an important crossroad that will shape the future of volunteering. To secure the incredible legacy of volunteering during the pandemic we must learn the lessons and realise the opportunities it has presented.

One of the key ingredients to the successful mobilisation of volunteers during the pandemic has been collaboration. So it is fantastic that 18 of the largest volunteering charities, who between them support hundreds of thousands of volunteers, have committed to working collectively to shape the future of volunteering.”

The full list of the 18 charities involved in the ‘Shaping the future with volunteering’ group are:

British Red Cross ; Cats Protection; Girlguiding; Helpforce; NCT; NSPCC; National Trust; Papworth Trust; Rotary; RNLI; Royal Voluntary Service; Samaritans; Scouts; St John Ambulance; Stroke Association; The Conservation Volunteers;  Volunteering Matters; YHA