Formative evaluation of V: final report

Document type
Report
Corporate author(s)
National Centre for Social Research; Institute for Volunteering Research; University of Southampton; University of Birmingham; Public Zone
Publisher
NatCen
Date of publication
1 August 2011
Subject(s)
Volunteering, Children and Young People
Collection
Social welfare
Material type
Reports

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Between 2009 and 2011, IVR undertook the formative evaluation of v, the national young volunteers service, as part of an independent research consortium led by NatCen. The evaluation sought to review the development and delivery of v, review the progress of commissioning and supporting activities, analyse the impact of these commissioned activities, and provide recommendations for the on-going development of youth volunteering. To do so, it employed a multi-strand methodology including in-depth case studies and interviews with a wide range of stakeholders, as well as quantitative survey analysis and review of monitoring information.The evaluation highlighted much for v to be proud of. In terms of numbers, it found that over a million volunteering opportunities had been created and filled by young people between 2008 and 2011, and that the organisation had been successful in recruiting young people from a wide range of backgrounds. The impact of the volunteering was also observed to be highly significant, most notably on the young people themselves. Challenges were also identified, however, including initial concern from funded projects around what was felt to be an overly target-driven programme design, as well as a lack of communication between v and the funded network.The report explores the context within which v has been operating, describes the characteristics and background of those people volunteering and examines the experience of being a v volunteer. It goes on to describe the impact of v on young people, their organisations, the wider community, and youth volunteering more generally. Finally it draws out some key implications for volunteering processes and lessons for the future. The evaluation team published an interim report (May 2010) and a final report (August 2011).

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