08 May 2006
by Ben Pindar
A major new charity dedicated to revolutionizing youth volunteering was launched today at a glitzy ceremony in London's Leicester Square, in the UK.
The good cause, which is called "V", has been created to inspire and engage one million new young volunteers ages 16 to 25 and is being officially launched by UK Chancellor Gordon Brown.
"V" was established following a recommendation from the Russell Commission which was set up by the then Home Secretary, David Blunkett, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown, to develop a new national framework for youth action and engagement.
The Russell Commission is part of the Government's commitment to increase youth volunteering and civic service and today marks the transition of the project from Government to an independent charity.
Working to ensure V is a success is an energetic group of 16 to 25-year-olds, called V20, who act as consultants and are involved in delivering the charity's messages and work.
Young people form the largest constituency among the charity's board of trustees and they participate in all decisions to help ensure the views of young people are at the heart of the charity's work.
The new charity has the task of identifying and securing private sector support, both financial and in-kind. The Government has made £50m available to match-funding raised from the private sector.
The new chief executive of V, Terry Ryall, said: "V aims to set new standards in the quantity, quality and diversity of volunteering for young people.
"We want to make volunteering a 'normal' part of young people's lives, providing them with tangible assets for their future as well as for society at large.
"V is the first independent charity to be established in this way being predominantly youth-led and born out of consultation with over 700 stakeholders and 6,000 young people from all over the country."
Charity staff will work in partnership with the public and private sector and with voluntary and community sector organizations to develop and share best practice in youth volunteering and to increase youth volunteering opportunities overall.