A very warm welcome back to all of you from what I hope has been a restful summer break given the circumstances.

You may remember at our AGM that we promised to work on relaunching our website and social media presence; Piotr especially but helped by Laura and Adelin have been very busy and we are delighted to be able to welcome everyone to our brand new website!

We want the website to be a space which promotes both Volonteurope and your own organisations; we want you, as our members, to feel valued and proud to be part of the network, so we hope that you will take advantage of the visibility that the website can offer. We want to acknowledge and display prominently our affiliations via membership of different networks and partnerships with different bodies in Europe, but also worldwide. Everyone should be able to really feel our commitment to being ‘stronger together’. In this spirit, we will be including, on our website, a quote from Helen Keller, “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.”

A few upcoming events for your calendars:

  • 18 September 2020: there will be a webinar lead by our German member, Gemeinsam leben und lernen in Europa, and supported by Volonteurope on inclusive volunteering. Look out for a separate blog post about this;
  • 23 September 2020: IAVE Global Forum “Tolerance and Inclusion – Volunteering Enabling Community Cohesion and Embracing Diversity”, where Piotr will be moderating a session with Dr Chris Millora from University of East Anglia (UK), Dr Sabrina Clark from Veterans Affairs Voluntary Service Programme (USA) and Mujtaba Arshia from the Afghanistan Volunteering National Organisation;
  • 25 September 2020: The Lifelong Learning Platform General Assembly, of which Volonteurope is a member; if you are interested, please ensure to register under Volonteurope.

I’m delighted that we are now members of IAVE. You might remember that I gave a workshop at their last international conference in Germany on measuring the impact of volunteering programmes. We are looking forward to greater collaboration with IAVE and hope to organise a joint event with them about returning to face to face volunteering. This year’s IAVE global volunteering conference was supposed to take place in October in Abu Dhabi, where Piotr was going to be leading a workshop, but, due to the obvious circumstances, the event is now postponed until 2021.

We are still considering whether our Extraordinary General Assembly, due to be held later in the year, should be online, face to face, or some blend of the two. The Board will take a decision soon and communicate the information, including the time and date to you over the coming weeks.

Again welcome back to Volonteurope, myself, Piotr, Laura, Cara, Alex, and the Board look forward to working with you!

Oonagh, President