A range of public services could soon be delivered by young
volunteers, under measures outlined by a government
The Russell Commission report, which was backed by the chancellor
in last week’s Budget, calls for new opportunities to be created
for young people to volunteer in schools, hospitals, parks and
It suggests young volunteers could have a role in befriending
schemes within the health service, in peer-to-peer education and in
Sure Start centres.
Four hundred new advisers, based in existing youth projects, would
find placements for young people and help organisations open up
more volunteering opportunities.
A full-time volunteering programme, paying a £60 weekly living
allowance and a contribution towards accommodation costs is also
Elisabeth Hoodless, executive director of volunteering charity CSV,
welcomed the proposals: “We look for the time when our public
services, like those in the United States, ensure that 10 per cent
of their person power comes from committed citizens.”
But public sector union Unison said volunteers were no substitute
for paid employees with proper contracts and terms and
In response to the report Gordon Brown last week committed
£100m over the next three years to set up a youth volunteering
framework and pledged to recruit one million young volunteers
within five years.