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  • Emma Bowkett

The Big Help Out: How Local Authorities can play a big role

The Big Help Out is happening on the 8th May, it is a day to celebrate and strengthen

volunteering across the nation and it represents a moment in time to embed volunteering opportunities well into the future. The public launch of Local Government's involvement in the Big Help Out is happening on the 24th April and we want you to be ready for it.

You may or may not have heard about it, but this is a day for volunteers to mobilise in communities across the UK. For charities and community organisations to offer volunteering and for Local Authorities to support the day and develop their own volunteering ideas.

At Neighbourly Lab we see volunteering as a powerful tool to facilitate and encourage greater social cohesion, improve wellbeing and give people brilliant transferable skills. We are partnering with the Big Help Out to support Local Authorities to get involved and be a huge part in the success of the day and the long term impact this can have on volunteering.

How we are supporting Local Authorities:

  • Join our regular zoom Local Authority drop in coffee morning the next one will be on the 13th April at 9am. Join here

  • Giving stimulus/ideas of how Local Authorities can get involved in the BHO and how they can broaden participation.

  • Facilitating connections between Local Authorities and other organisations.

  • Delivering a toolkit for Councils on how they can connect with residents, set up and deliver successful volunteering opportunities for the future.

Think of Neighbourly Lab as your first port of call for anything to do with the Big Help Out or volunteering opportunities, we will always be on hand to help.

How can Local Authorities get involved in the Big Help Out:

  • Advertising the day and promoting it locally to organisations and the public.

  • Open up volunteer opportunities in your services and in local organisations, helping direct the effort to where it can make the biggest difference.

  • Facilitating other organisations and groups to take part by providing access to council facilities and spaces.

  • Engage with pre-existing pools of residents who have signalled an interest in participating more in community activity. E.g. via local neighbourhood Whatsapp groups, via NextDoor, via Mutual Aid Groups and through Citizens Assemblies

  • Find the best role for the elected officials and Councillors. E.g. encourage them to use their social media accounts to publicise the day and help them to encourage their residents to take part.

  • Ensure all the Councils’ messaging and comms are geared towards widening the appeal of volunteering. E.g. all messaging to explicitly signal welcome to people who are from minority communities, mixing ages, people with disabilities and inclusive BAME diversity.

These are just some ideas of how the Local Authority can get involved, but we have heaps more and we are really excited about the potential that you have to get involved and be ready for the public launch on the 20th March.

How can people get involved:

Sign up to the Big Help Out App and see what volunteering opportunities are available. You can sign up to to:

  • Participate in volunteering for national charities like the Scouts, the British Red Cross, the RSPCA and many many more.

  • Participate in volunteering for your local charities and organisations within your community.

  • Participate in volunteering opportunities advertised by your Local Authority.

  • Help out and support friends, family and neighbours by picking up shopping, checking in and arranging community events for the Coronation

What we’d love to hear from you:

If you’d like to share any of your current goals for the Big Help Out, we would be happy to hear them. We want to provide inspiration to the team at BHO and any other councils who are maybe on the fence about taking part. You can anonymise your response if you wish. Please get in touch at:

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