Government not helping, says volunteering body

The Government's tendency to focus on narrow targets and "sexy" headlines in volunteering is "inequitable and counterproductive", according to the latest report by the Commission on the Future of Volunteering.

Volunteering Works draws together existing studies on the subject, as well as new evidence from voluntary sector contributors.

It says: "Government's interest in and 'promotion' of volunteering is a mixed blessing, regarded with weariness, wariness and hope. Respondents are weary of being excluded from the magic circle of those particular groups of volunteers, geographical areas and types of volunteering favoured by government's increasingly tighter targets. They feel that this exclusion is disrespectful, inequitable and counterproductive."

Respondents also said that government pays insufficient attention to their knowledge and experience, does not treat them as equal partners and burdens them with unnecessary red tape.

The report will inform the commission's manifesto on volunteering, which is due to be published early next year and will contain recommendations for government.

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