Third sector minister Angela Smith has paid tribute to the voluntary sector in the UK, which she said was the "best in the world".
Speaking at the Third Sector Excellence Awards at the Grosvenor House hotel in London last night, Smith told guests the sector should be proud of its work and heritage.
"We can safely say the third sector in Britain is the best in the world," she said.
The sector is internationally admired for its work, said Smith. "Third sector organisations are consistently inundated with requests for advice from across the world."
Far from finding it difficult to find people, said the minister, charities were finding it difficult to locate placements for them all because so many people in the UK wanted to volunteer.
"We are trying every day to do something to make the world better," she added. "We should be proud that we are doing that."
- A 48-page special supplement about the Third Sector Excellence Awards, with pictures, details of the winnners and reports from the awards night, will be published with Third Sector magazine on 6 October