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Event Overview

This one-day event will provide insight into the unique contribution of volunteering and what works when designing, commissioning and implementing early prevention to achieve outcomes for babies, parents and communities.

28 March 2017
10.00am – 4.00pm
National Council for Voluntary Organisations
8 All Saints St, London N1 9RL

At the event you’ll learn about...

  • Why perinatal volunteering is a good investment
  • Evidence: how it reduces pressure on public services
  • Delivering best value volunteering: how high quality implementation is crucial
  • How to embed volunteering alongside the ‘system’
  • Pioneering perinatal volunteer programmes that are leading this approach; challenges; achievements and lessons they have for others
  • Increasing the involvement of fathers

Event Speakers

Trish Kiss

Programme Manager
Investing in Volunteers
National Council for Voluntary Organisations

Bev Taylor

Social Prescribing Development Manager
Public Participation Team,
NHS England

Leila Baker

Head of Research
The Institute for Voluntary Action Research

Kathy Jones

Joint CEO and Head of Strategy
The Fatherhood Institute

Carrie Deacon

Programme Manager
Innovation Lab, Centre for Social Action Innovation Fund, NESTA

& Other Lead Practitioners

About The Event

This event brings together national leaders, innovators, researchers and lead practitioners who are already delivering successful perinatal volunteer programmes.

The agenda provides vital insight into how untapped strengths in communities can be effectively mobilised to achieve collaborative outcomes for strategies such as Better Births, the Healthy Child Programme and transforming public services.

Throughout the day we will be drawing on the latest evidence of ‘what works’ and exploring approaches for designing, implementing, and ensuring quality when developing volunteering programmes focusing on pregnancy, birth and the transition to parenthood. Pioneering local programmes will show case their approach, challenges and achievements, and provide practical examples of how to embed volunteering alongside public services.

Why is this event important?

The transition through pregnancy, birth and post birth is critical and provides a ‘window of opportunity’ when people are particularly open to change. One of the strongest predictors of resilience of children is the emotional wellbeing of the mother (APPG Conception to Age 2, 2015) and the origins of diseases and family trauma are consolidated during this time.

Effective prevention at this stage eases the burden on statutory services by reducing escalation of need. Around 50% of perinatal mental health problems are untreated or undetected and this can have a devastating impact on mothers, fathers and their families.

Evidence is clear that effective volunteer programmes can make a unique and invaluable contribution. However, it is vital that programmes are commissioned, designed and implemented to succeed. Many great volunteer schemes are often conceived with noble aspirations but all too often, and for a variety of reasons, they don’t achieve the outcomes they hope for. They tend to be commissioned as an ‘add-on’ rather than being embedded into the landscape of the local ‘system’.

Who should attend?

  • Maternity, Better Births, Healthy Child Programme and Public Health professionals
  • Commissioners working in local authorities and CCGs
  • Frontline midwifery, health visiting, children’s centre and early years practitioners
  • Charities, social enterprises and community development organisations passionate about volunteering
  • A Better Start programmes and those already delivering volunteering programmes
  • Charitable Trusts and other funders
  • National bodies including: NHS England, Department of Health, Public Health England, Local Government Association

What will you learn about?

  • Latest evidence of ‘what works’ and quality standards for perinatal volunteering
  • Progress made so far by programmes that are embedding volunteering alongside midwifery, health visiting, mental health and children’s services
  • The specific contribution of volunteering to achieving outcomes and impact
  • Making it work from the beginning: approaches for effective planning, design, implementation, real-time evaluation, and continuous improvement
  • Strategies to increase inclusiveness of fathers in early prevention volunteering
  • Commissioning to succeed: strategies that support best value and return on investment

The event will also provide guidance about new training and support packages for transferring evidence into practice drawing on the findings of the A Better Start Evidence Review: Volunteering and Early Childhood Outcomes (commissioned by BIG Lottery 2016)

Speakers will highlight next steps and priorities including the Expert Reference Group for Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond early prevention volunteering.

Event Schedule


Registration Opens


The Unique contribution of Volunteers during Pregnancy Birth and Beyond.

The unique and distinctive contribution that volunteers bring to improving perinatal outcomes: new opportunities and reducing pressure on the ‘system’

Celia Suppiah CEO Parents 1st


Introduction and overview of the day

Charlotte Pace Independent Facilitator

Key Note Speakers


Volunteering and early childhood outcomes

Key messages from the Evidence Review commissioned by Big Lottery Fund

Leila Baker Head of Research, Institute for Voluntary Action Research


Investing in Volunteers, our partnership with Parents 1st

Including good practice in volunteer management, the benefits of accrediting volunteer programmes, the process and the impact it has had on achievers.

Trish Kiss Programme Manager, Investing in Volunteers, National Council for Voluntary Organisations


New opportunities for improving sustainability

Bev Taylor Social Prescribing Development Manager, Public Participation Team, NHS England


Volunteer peer support and people powered public services

Carrie Deacon Programme Manager, Innovation Lab, Centre for Social Action Innovation Fund, NESTA


The Dad Factor: Making fathers count

Kathy Jones Joint CEO and Head of Strategy, the Fatherhood Institute


Questions and discussion



Themed workshops


Evidence of ‘what works’ and implementing for success

A. Using a framework to support evidence into practice when commissioning, designing, adapting and implementing perinatal volunteering

B. Overview and insights into the A Better Start Evidence Review (early childhood outcomes) commissioned by the Big Lottery fund

C. What do we know about increasing involvement of fathers in volunteering?


Networking lunch

Themed workshops


Practical examples – embedding perinatal volunteering alongside the ‘system’

A. Working alongside midwifery services and the Healthy Child Programme

B. Sharing the Programme Coordinator experience: community engagement with vulnerable expectant mothers

C. Don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater! Practical solutions to measuring impact





Download PDF Timetable

The Venue

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations is conveniently located just eight minutes’ walk from the excellent transport links of King’s Cross and St Pancras.

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Venue Address

Society Building
8 All Saints Street
London N1 9RL

By Train

The nearest mainline stations are St Pancras and King’s Cross.

By Car

Judd Street Car Park is approximately 15 minutes’ walk from NCVO.