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Cities of Service U.K. Capturing the Skills and Energy of Volunteers to Address City Challenges

This report is designed to be a practical guide for councils across the U.K. who want to harness the energy, skill, and enthusiasm of volunteers. It will be helpful for those who want to better understand the potential of Impact Volunteering in a local authority setting or better understand how being part of the global Cities of Service movement can help deliver impact locally.

It summarises the key facets of the Cities of Service model, the initiatives each council designed, and the impact on local people they had. It also covers lessons other councils could build upon if they were to replicate the approach, including:

• Have a central convening role to champion volunteering.
• Pick initiatives that meet local authority needs and residents’ preferences.
• Choose partners well.
• Build in opportunities for review, feedback, and adaptation.
• Recruit a critical friend and make use of the movement.
• Plan and resource your impact measurement.
• Leverage the Cities of Service and local brands.
• Ensure the volunteering infrastructure is purposeful and easy to use.

We hope that it will be used to inspire those seeking to transform public services so they mobilise the energy, talents, and assets of residents alongside skilled public servants to improve outcomes locally.