Centre for Global Health Volunteering
Individuals and organizations in the UK, and in particular the NHS, have a longstanding tradition of volunteering both at home and overseas.
Many staff, clinical and non-clinical, from academic and health service settings regularly travel to other countries to provide services and help with education and training, and there are frequent bilateral exchanges.
Interest in health volunteering has increased for many reasons including:
- more support is available from employers to undertake volunteering, especially following the Department of Health report: ‘Health is Global’
- the availability of modern technologies to simplify communication and allow distance learning and mentorship
- the realisation that we are all interconnected in the global village.
Volunteering within Greater Manchester
Within Greater Manchester there are already numerous examples of health volunteering from the NHS and Higher Education Institutions. In addition, the multi-ethnic and multi-cultural
Greater Manchester region has active and strong diaspora organisations that are keen to support developments in their parent countries by promoting health volunteering.
Launching in 2013, we plan to build on local experience, expertise and commitment through establishing a Manchester Centre for Global Health Volunteering, based at the UHSM Academy. In partnership with UHSM Academy and MAHSC, and with funding from HIEC, we will work together as a network of public, private and voluntary organisations to promote health volunteering that will address widening global health inequalities and the need for affordable and accessible healthcare.
We will develop volunteering that is:
- Effective: delivering high quality outcomes by well trained volunteers
- Efficient: delivering timely, responsive and context tailored services
- Economic: deliver outputs which add value at the lowest possible cost
Volunteers will be drawn from a range of sources including NHS, education and diaspora organisations. We will ensure volunteers are ‘accredited’ as well trained and are well prepared for the situations to which they will be deployed, either in emergencies or for planned placements. We will create long term volunteering support for projects in various countries through diverse skill-mix and team working, rather than reliance on single individuals. We will aim to add value to the work of organisations already involved in health volunteering and be resourceful around opportunities to fill gaps.
- To undertake a situational analysis by mapping out current volunteering activities
- To engage partners to create the network, establish the necessary administrative infrastructure and explore sustainable funding
- To consolidate the work already started which includes extending the Gulu-Man link via the newly established UK: Uganda Health Alliance
- To explore a programme of work in India and South Asia
- To develop a public health programme building on the work of the Peoples-uni and other initiatives locally
- To create and deliver initial training programmes for the ‘Manchester Accredited Volunteer’