08 November 2005
Wales has the highest level of volunteering in Europe with around 54 per cent of all adults engaged in some kind of volunteering activity – or an estimated 190 million hours volunteered per year.
Wales’ Minister for Social Justice and Regeneration Edwina Hart hightlighted these facts and benefits that volunteering brings to communities during her visit yesterday at the Swansea Council for Voluntary Service (Swansea CVS).
Edwina Hart said, "Volunteering is at the centre of Assembly Government policy which is why we invested more than £107m into voluntary organizations in Wales in the current year alone.
"Volunteers in Swansea are the lifeblood of the sector locally. They are truly valued and supported by their local communities but more effort is needed to recruit and retrain them.
"I have been leading a national campaign throughout 2005 called the Year of the Volunteer to encourage more people to volunteer."
A one-stop phoneline for those considering volunteering has been launched building on the success of the national volunteering website.
Edwina Hart added: "I want efforts to inform people of the benefits of volunteering to continue into 2006 and the years to come.
"This year, new volunteers across the country have realized just how rewarding and enjoyable giving up one's time to help and support others can be, benefiting all involved.