The Guardian: The voluntary sector does not mean free

Volunteers must be properly supported with supervision, management and training, not to mention other overheads such as insurance and safeguarding checks. All the things that go to make up a professional quality service that our communities deserve.

There continues to be a lack of understanding among those in government and service commissioning around the real cost of things when the voluntary sector comes to the rescue when things are difficult. It feels like some see it as a bit of a cut-price Black Friday approach to propping things up.

Of course, the voluntary sector is always there to support the community – that’s the reason why we are so passionate about it and why we are working in it in the first place. But, it is long overdue for the sector to be taken more seriously. Rather than being seen as a merely supplementary amateur resource, there needs to be a recognition of the expert professionalism that exists, the level of activity that is delivered and a realistic understanding of how much it can cost to do what we do.