UK Govt Commits to Employee Volunteer Days
30 June 2015 at 12:28 pm
The UK Government has committed to delivering three days of paid volunteering leave for employees in large organisations.
In a speech to London Community leaders, Rob Wilson, the UK Minister for Civil Society outlined his Government’s latest plans under the Stronger Society initiative.
“First, we need a confident and capable voluntary sector, armed with the skills it needs to meet the challenges ahead,"he said.
“Second, we want to see more social action and volunteering, with community participation embedded in our lives from school days onwards.
“Third, increased levels of giving, and more social investment, helping people who want to use their money to transform lives to connect to organisations who can put those funds to work.
“And fourth, stronger, more resilient, more capable and more empowered communities.
"Just as we rebalance our economy so that prosperity is more widely shared, we will also rebalance power away from central government, enabling communities to make more of their own decisions and shape their own future.”
He said an estimated 32 million adults volunteered last year.
“That’s three million more than at the beginning of the last Parliament," he said.
“The most important resource for your sector is people and their skills and expertise, which is also why we want to continue the growth in social action and volunteering.
“We put at the heart of our manifesto a commitment to three days of paid volunteering leave for employees in large organisations. Many companies do this already but we’ll make this a reality for more people – a new entitlement for millions which will unleash a new wave of skills, capability and passion to help others.
“And I want volunteering to start at school. Already 135,000 young people have taken part in National Citizen Service, and last year 40 per cent of 10 to 20 year olds took part in regular social action.”
The Minister also launched a £20 million (A$41 milllion) program that will provide grants to increase the sustainability of around 250 organisations working in the voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector.
The fund, which will be delivered by the Big Lottery Fund, will provide grants that will enable recipients to implement organisational changes and access professional advice that might currently be out of their reach.
The Government said the initiative will give VCSEs access to a wider range of skills and support, with all grant recipients establishing a strong volunteering relationship with a local business.
“These cross sector relationships will help grant recipients to strengthen their resilience and long term sustainability," the Minister said.
“The Local Sustainability Fund will be £20 million of Government funding delivered over 2 years, and will be available to medium-sized VCSE organisations that deliver vital support to vulnerable and disadvantaged people.
“Alongside working with local businesses, recipients will also work with skilled advisors so that the fund generates maximum impact.”