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Volunteering sector begs government for 'more funding'
06 December 2006

London, UK: The volunteering sector is begging the government for more funding for projects, finds a survey today by Volunteering England, the national development agency for volunteering.

The poll, which is published to coincide with the International Volunteer Day (5 December), reveals the priorities of the volunteering sector – as experienced by those who volunteer themselves, manage volunteers, or work in England’s wide network of volunteer centres.

Visitors to Volunteering England’s website were asked what their ideal Christmas present for the volunteering sector would be. The results were as follows:

  • More funding for projects 32%;
  • More companies giving employees time off to volunteer 16%;
  • Increased recognition of volunteers by the general public 11%;
  • Less red tape and bureaucracy 9%;
  • More characters in TV programmes who are volunteers 8%;
  • Greater diversity in the volunteering sector 7%;
  • More opportunities for volunteers 7%;
  • More young people to be involved in volunteering 4%;
  • More older people to be involved in volunteering 3%;
  • More advice and guidance on volunteer issues 3%;

The plea echoes Volunteering England’s call to invest a further £20 million in local volunteer centres in its submission to the Cabinet Office’s Third Sector Review.

It is hoped that Chancellor Gordon Brown will make reference to the review in his pre-budget report tomorrow, and take account of VE’s ten year modernisation plan in order to achieve Government targets for increasing volunteering among the most excluded in society.

Justin Davis-Smith, Deputy Chief Executive of Volunteering England, said: “The message from the sector is clear – while freely given, volunteering is certainly not cost-free. This government needs to adopt policies that guarantee infrastructure realistic and long-term funding – to which it has already committed itself in the Compact Code.

“Volunteering England welcomes the opportunity to celebrate International Volunteer Day and our wish for volunteers around the world for 2007 would be for a healthy, vibrant and diverse sector, free of over-regulation and given adequate and sustainable funding.”