BTCV unveils back-to-work volunteering plans

Environmental charity aims to help 50,000 into employment

Environmental volunteering charity BTCV plans to help 50,000 people into employment over the next four years through volunteering and back-to-work programmes.

As part of the organisation's strategic plan up to 2013, unveiled today, it will also provide opportunities for 500,000 people to improve their fitness or mental health.

Ron Fern, deputy chief executive and group operations director at BTCV, told Third Sector that up to half of the 50,000 people the organisation wanted to help would get back into work through volunteering.

Many of the others would find employment through statutory back-to-work programmes, such as the Department for Work and Pensions' Flexible New Deal initiative, said Fern.

"If I am being optimistic, I would say that as many as half the people that move into employment would be after coming forward to volunteer," he said.

The charity's volunteering programmes include opportunities for people to work on environmental schemes such as building dry stone walls.

The plan will be announced at a House of Commons reception today as part of the charity's 50th anniversary celebrations.

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