Christian Aid awarded Investing in Volunteers

Christian Aid UK has become the first national development charity to be awarded the Investing in Volunteers (IiV) standard. I am a Lead Assessor for England with Volunteering England for the UK-wide quality standard ‘Investing in Volunteers’ (IiV). From May 2008 to June 2009 I led a team of UK-wide IiV assessors as Christian Aid UK  worked their way towards achieving the IiV standard. My main contact was Marie Raffay Christian Aid’s Volunteering Manager (pictured below with myself and the prestigious IiV plaque).


Marie was great to work with as were the whole of Christian Aid staff and volunteers and they thoroughly deserved their IiV award. Once all the self-assessments had taken place, the development plans developed, evidenced produced, some new policies and procedures reviewed, revised and rewritten, CA were ready for their final assessment in February 2009 – the face-to-face interviews with IiV assessors across the UK for their volunteers, staff and trustees. The interviews took place over a three-week period in Feb 2009 (and went into March) during the worst snow storms to hit the UK for decades. So, after months of planning we devised something called ‘snow watch’ – checking the weather forecast every day to see how many volunteers might be able to make it for interviews in Wales, Scotland, England and Northern Ireland. All went pretty well as planned considering the amount of white stuff around. Christian Aid demonstrated excellent practice and importantly, always viewed achieving the IiV standard as a way of improving their already good practice for the present and the future – well done! From the volunteer’s testimonials, Christian Aid is great organisation in which to be a volunteer. The presentation of the IiV plaque took place at Christian Aid’s London HQ in June 2009 and  involved some nibbles and a fair few bottles of Fair Trade sparkling wine (very nice).


In the picture opposite:

Stephen Drew Christian Aid volunteer

Sinead Whelan Head of Marketing and Operations (IiV Lead)

Marie Raffay Christian Aid Volunteering Manager

Dane Gould IiV Lead Assessor (England)

Amplifying Communities for Resilience

In times such as these, of uncertainy and change, it’s important for communities to develop resilience. This involves a re-examination of community identity, values and practices, says Andrea Saveri in this thought-provoking video presentation she gave for an NLab workshop at De Montfort University. In the video she talks about how community resilience can be achieved through:

  • Regenerative commerce
  • User-centred governance
  • Community-based maker economies

Here are more resources from the NLab workshop:

Download Amplifying Businesses and Communities for Resilience [Powerpoint]

Download Amplifying Businesses and Communities for Resilience SUMMARY [PDF]

Download Are you amplified [PDF]

Are you amplified? [Quiz]

Amplify Your Event

How do you get people who can’t physically attend your public event or conference involved at the time? You amplify it, live, via the internet.

My friend, Kirsty McGill, recently blogged some enlightening thoughts about using the web and social networking tools to amplify public events:

Online amplification is basically any live, online activity which gives a digital dimension to the proceedings thus enabling remote participation and creating an online record of the event.  There are therefore two parallel aims – to generate conversation/interaction and to archive.

Any social networking tools could be used to amplify an event, although some are perhaps more suited to this purpose than others.  Twitter is fast becoming the mainstay, but it is by far the be all and end all.  Blogs, video streaming, live chat rooms, slide sharing and services such as Cover It Live all have a role to play and can effectively allow multiple entry points to the event so participants can engage through whichever single or combination of services best suit their needs.

But how do you co-ordinate all of this stuff? Should you try to co-ordinate it?  And how do you get your flesh participants involved without distracting them?

For some potential answers to these questions, read more here: Big Digital Feet

eLearning for community development


Make It Happen (MIH) designs and delivers interactive, multi-media e-learning experiences for Third Sector, voluntary and community organisations at national, regional and local level. Headed up by Dane Gould and Christine Wilks, MIH’s aim is to help empower communities and enhance community development.

Using the open-source Moodle software package, we design and build bespoke Virtual Learning Environments (VLE), internet-based courses and interactive e-learning content. We also offer consultancy for a range of clients, large and small, and have been instrumental in developing national e-learning strategies for Third Sector organisations. We work in collaboration with a pool of MIH associates (trainers, consultants, designers), Moodle partners and open source web developers.

Our mission is to help you make it happen!