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Thursday, 16 March 2006

New Boost for Volunteering: Home Office Launches £3 million Strategy to Demolish Barriers

Written by The Editorial Team
A new Home Office programme to break down barriers to volunteering has received a £3 million boost.

Volunteering For All will be a two-year strategy led by the Home Office and reaching across Government to identify and remove barriers to volunteering and to promote these opportunities to potential volunteers.
It will specifically target three groups less likely to volunteer, as identified by the biennial Home Office Citizenship Survey (HOCS):
- people with disabilities or limiting long-term illness;
- people with no formal qualifications; and
- people from black and minority ethnic communities.
Home Office Minister Paul Goggins said:
"Volunteers really are the heart and soul of our communities, but many potential volunteers think that opportunities to become involved are not open to them or that red tape is standing in their way. This strategy is all about removing barriers, so that anyone who wants to volunteer can feel    empowered to take part.
"This is more than a Home Office initiative. It is a cross-Government programme to really tackle the obstacles preventing those who want to make a difference from volunteering.
“Working with partners in the voluntary sector Volunteering For All will be able to reach out to these groups, ensuring that everyone can play their part in society."
Volunteering For All will run from April 2006 to April 2008 with a two-tier objective:
1. identifying and removing policy barriers; and
2. promoting these new opportunities.
The 2005 Home Office Citizenship Survey (HOCS) showed that only 20 per cent of Asian people participated in formal volunteering at least once a month, compared with 34 per cent of mixed race people; 30 per cent of black people and 29 per cent of white people.
HOCS also showed that only 16 per cent of people with no formal qualifications participated in formal volunteering once a month, compared with 31 per cent of people with formal qualifications.