The first independent evaluation of the Department of Health’s ‘Health and Social Volunteering Fund (HSCVF)’ gives a resounding endorsement from UK volunteering organisations with respondents typically reporting high levels of satisfaction with the support package offered by the fund. The HSCVF offers an innovative blend of grants, business expertise and voluntary and community sector specific support which has, in the first round, supported 43 local health and social care projects aligned to key Department of Health priorities. 

The projects, which addressed health inequalities and supported social care delivery, included improving access to ante and post natal services for marginalised communities, using volunteers to increase support for older people  in rural communities, engaging service users with mental illness to make a documentary on how to access relevant support services and support for those living with HIV.

Success of the innovative approach to grants management taken by HSCVF partners, Ecorys, PrimeTimers, Attend and Community Service Volunteers (CSV), is illustrated by the extremely positive respondent feedback when asked about the individual elements of the package such as the grant management support, organisational diagnostic, support consultancy and ILM accredited action learning networks. The support package will be extended later in the year to include volunteer management training delivered by CSV.

“The whole package of grants management and support is helping to develop a strategic landscape for volunteer contribution to health and social care which can, in turn, inform the wider care sector as this seeks to evolve amidst the current changes” commented Carolyn Hay, HSCVF Programme Director.

To assist with this process, The HSCVF Managing Body plans to establish a user consultation group with a number of projects to provide a grass roots perspective on future developments and an impact evaluation to check on actual changes taking place as a result of the support package.

The second local round of HSCVF funding which aims to build on the success of the 2010 local grant scheme, will further help to enhance capacity in the health, public health and social care volunteering sector.

Please click here for a full version of the evaluation report.