Volunteering strategy and action plan

The volunteering strategy aims to align activities across government, the voluntary and community sector and other stakeholders to re-energise and increase levels of volunteering. The strategy, which is accompanied by an action plan, aims to create the conditions under which volunteering activity within Northern Ireland can develop and flourish.

The action plan

The Join in, get involved: build a better future is a volunteering strategy and action plan for Northern Ireland.  It sets out our aims to coordinate activities across government, the voluntary and community sector and other stakeholders to promote the positive experience and increase levels of volunteering across Northern Ireland. The action plan has a series of objectives that we are progressing with our stakeholders to create the conditions where volunteering activity can develop and flourish and where volunteering is open to anyone who wants to participate.

The strategy has the following objectives:

  • recognising the value and promoting the benefits of volunteering
  • enhancing accessibility and diversity
  • improving the volunteering experience
  • supporting and strengthening the volunteering infrastructure
  • delivering the strategy

Volunteering strategy - what we are doing

Many of the actions set out in the action plan will be taken forward by the local volunteering infrastructure which we fund. The Department is also taking a number of actions.  In addition we are keen to promote volunteering while on benefits. 

Volunteering while on benefits

Research has shown that people on benefits are less likely to volunteer. We want to encourage more people on benefits to volunteer because it is very unlikely that benefits will be affected. Though if you are receiving benefits and would like to volunteer, you must always tell the office that pays your benefit before you start.

You can read further information more on the nidirect website:

The Volunteering experience in Northern Ireland

The, It’s All About Time report  gives an insight into volunteering in Northern Ireland. It describes the numbers of people volunteering, what they are doing and their experience as a volunteer.

Read more in the Funding for the voluntary and community sector section.


If you have any queries please contact Voluntary and Community Unit

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