"I'm going to tell them that it's fine saying you want everyone to volunteer, but that means the people in your departments and agencies actually doing something," she said.
Neuberger, a Third Sector columnist, was appointed Prime Minister's champion on volunteering as part of Brown's drive to include "all the talents" in government activity. "I was seeing him anyway as part of chairing the Commission on the Future of Volunteering, and he asked me about it," she said. "I was gobsmacked, but really pleased.
"I remain a Lib Dem, and there's no expectation that I will vote for the Government or be part of it. I've said I'll do it for a year, then continue if it's working or stop if it's not.
"I think it's very exciting - it should be good for me and good for them as well."