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UK & Norwegian Links Strengthened
Report on Norwegian Delegation visit to HFVC

In August, HFVC was delighted to welcome managers from 14 volunteer centres in southern Norway.  Over lunch, we held interesting, fun and fervent discussions on the way organisations managed and retained their volunteers, and it became clear there were as many different ways of encouraging volunteers in Norway as there is in England.

The Norwegian group were particularly interested in finding out how we work closely with immigrant groups and/or individuals and how we get them involved in the community as this was one of their priorities. They also wanted to find out how we retain our volunteers, how we help get them into work, and how we work with businesses and volunteers and how we work with young people.

The group were also keen to find out how HFVC create and generate income in order to keep running effectively. We spent some time to explain the social enterprise arm of the business, Works 4 U, and ran through the process of Employer Supported Volunteering, which appears to be a fairly fresh concept in Norway. The benefits to both the community and corporate organisations were outlined, as were the advantages of engaging local businesses.

We talked about meeting volunteers on a 1-1 basis, how we work through other community based charities working directly with refugees or ethnic minorities, and how we can signpost people to develop their English language skills through ESOL.

We shared information about how the youth get involved in volunteering with organizations and in the community, and how we encourage these organizations to see the benefits of having young people volunteer. They also learned  about the different volunteering and employment projects HFVC have available for young people and how the young people come together and raise money to plan and run smaller projects or events of their own such as jewellery making workshops, anti gun and knife crime events, global fashion shows and photography projects etc.