News & Events

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20 September 2023

VANS awarded National Accreditation

We are pleased to announce that the National Association for Voluntary and Community Action (NAVCA) has awarded us with a Volunteer Centre Quality Accreditation (VCQA), the quality mark for organisations delivering the five local Volunteer Centre functions.  We are one of only twenty-two Volunteer Centres across the UK who currently have this accreditation that is valid for three years and we are very proud that our work to provide these services in North Somerset has been recognised as ‘excellent’ by NAVCA.

Through the rigorous VCQA process, we were able to reflect on our work, talk about our strengths and areas for development and demonstrate that our work has impact and value across our communities under the five functions of, strategic development of volunteering; good practice development; brokerage; developing volunteering opportunities and being the voice of volunteering.

Dr Mandy Gardner, our CEO, explained why we applied for the accreditation “Volunteering is core to our work at VANS, and we believe that reflecting on our current practice and being given external feedback is critical to improving and celebrating volunteering in North Somerset.  Whilst it was a straightforward process that was very thought provoking, it made us reflect on our everyday practice.

We learned that we need to continually collect the evidence of the impact that our work is having.  It is very easy to do something and not build in time to really learn from, and celebrate the impacts that volunteers have made to improving people’s lives in North Somerset.

Being awarded this quality mark shows we are doing the right things and that we have been approved by an external body.  Accreditation reflects everyone’s hard work and it enables us to share our insights and learning across the wider voluntary sector, enabling us to enhance volunteering and good practice across North Somerset and beyond. Going through the accreditation process has given us the space to assess our volunteer programme, identify areas for improvement, and implement changes.

The VCQA also provides prospective volunteers and VCFSE organisations with the assurance that they are working with a well-managed, trusted and reputable organisation and that having been independently assessed, our good practice is confirmed.  It can also help retain volunteers by demonstrating a commitment to their well-being and satisfaction.”

Image L-R: Dr Mandy Gardner (VANS CEO), Bernie Micklewright (VANS Volunteering & Events Lead) receiving the Accreditation Certificate from VANS Chair of Trustees, Delyth Lloyd-Evans

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