Drive to sign up young volunteers in Wales

Welsh Assembly-backed GwirVol project to launch next month

Organisations from the voluntary, private and public sectors in Wales have teamed up in a bid to encourage more young people to volunteer.

The GwirVol project, which launches on 6 April, will offer youth volunteering organisations a share of a £500,000 grant aimed at supporting youth volunteering projects in Wales.

The group is made up of organisations including the Wales Council for Voluntary Action, which will administer the scheme, the Welsh Assembly Government, which will provide the funding, the Council for Wales of Voluntary Youth Services, Funky Dragon, the children and young people's assembly for Wales, North West Wales NHS and North Wales Police.

The partnership will be advised by a panel of Welsh volunteers, called GwirForce and aged between 16 and 25, who will discuss ways of promoting youth volunteering in Wales.

The hope is to obtain accurate volunteering statistics and create a website for young people and organisations that offers volunteering opportunities. The group will also seek to establish targeted advice, training and grant facilities for disadvantaged groups of young people. Ideas will then be fed back to the GwirVol partnership bodies for implementation.

Graham Benfield, chief executive of the WCVA, said: "The aim is to achieve a sustained change to youth volunteering in Wales through the involvement and leadership of young people. Although it is a partnership from the voluntary, public and private sectors, it will be led by the views of young people in Wales."

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