Blunkett plan to boost volunteers

People approaching retirement age could be targetted

Volunteering England has welcomed a proposal by former Home Secretary David Blunkett that people should be given information on how to volunteer when they retire.

In a Commons debate last week on the care and support green paper Shaping the Future of Care Together, the Sheffield Brightside MP asked health secretary Andy Burnham to consider the idea. He told MPs it could boost volunteering numbers.

Burnham promised to explore the proposal, the success of which depended, he said, on the support of voluntary organisations.

Justin Davis Smith, chief executive of Volunteering England, said it had been pushing employers, especially public sector organisations, to implement the idea.

"Our experience tells us that providing people with information about volunteering as part of their retirement process is the most successful way of engaging them with the concept," he said.

A spokesman for Blunkett told Third Sector that retirement was an ideal time to tell people about local volunteering groups, possibly through sponsored information packs.

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