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Study shows that volunteering should be better recognised

1st Jan 2008

Governments should recognise volunteering as a legitimate job-seeking activity, according to a report into young adult volunteering published this week in the United Kingdom.

The Morgan Inquiry, supported by The UK Scout Association, includes recommendations for a flexible day off to encourage volunteering, an ‘industry standard’ award scheme to acknowledge skills developed through volunteering and better signposting of voluntary opportunities.

Baroness Morgan of Huyton, who chaired the report with a cross-party panel of Members of Parliament and other experts, said there were real and perceived objects acting as barriers to volunteering for many young adults.

“Everyone says volunteering is a good thing. But it is not always straightforward to get involved. I hope that our recommendations will make a difference in clearing the way for young adults to make the most of volunteering. Furthermore we hope that this report will instil a greater sense of flexibility in Government, businesses, academia and the Third Sector in making this possible.”

It also found that many young adults would benefit from an extra eight hours leave a year from their jobs or studies for voluntary activities.

Derek Twine, Chief Executive of The Scout Association, welcomed the report, “It is encouraging to see that so many large organisations contributed and recognise the value and skills that volunteering can bring to them. The importance of volunteers for organisations such as Scouting is immense and the valuable skills that volunteers can transfer into their daily and working lives should not be underestimated. While we ensure that our volunteer programme is as flexible as possible, existing Scout Leaders would benefit hugely from a few extra hours throughout the year. We would also hope that these recommendations would encourage people who 'don’t think they have the time', to get involved with volunteering.”

This week sees the launch of National Volunteers Week in the UK, the nation's annual celebration of the work volunteers do. During the week events are held across the country to recognise, reward and recruit volunteers.

Picture: Greater recognition should be given to volunteering.

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