Brown gives £50m for 'national community service'

The Government is to invest up to £100m in the next three years to attract one million new young volunteers, including £50m core funding to be used to start up a new youth volunteering charity.

In his pre-budget speech, Chancellor Gordon Brown also announced that seven major corporate sponsors have already pledged £3.5m to the new charity.

It has yet to be named and will be officially launched next spring (Third Sector, 16 November).

The companies, known as the founding partners, are T-Mobile, ITV, KPMG, MTV, Tesco, Sky and the Hunter Foundation. Rod Aldridge, now chair of the Capita Group, will be chair.

Brown said the country's "first national community service" would fund gap year volunteering in Britain and abroad for poorer students. Brown also announced that another new charity, the National Sports Foundation, which is based on the Football Foundation, will be established to promote community sports.

To be launched in April, it is designed to attract £30m of private-sector funding by 2008.

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