Neuberger praises response to volunteering report

Baroness Neuberger has declared that the Government's response to the Commission on the Future of Volunteering's recent report is "about as good as it gets".

The Liberal Democrat peer and chair of the commission told Third Sector that she was pleased with the Government’s comments on the body’s Manifesto for Change report, which was published in January.

“The Government has said that most of the points we are making are right and we are getting most of the things that we asked for,” she said.

No cabinet minister for the UK…

She admitted she was “not wholly surprised” that a recommendation in the report to have a cabinet minister with responsibility for volunteering was rejected.

“They have accepted that there is confusion between volunteering and the voluntary sector,” she said.

Third sector minister Phil Hope announced last week that the Government would stump up £6m to support volunteering in response to the report (Third Sector Online, 7 March).

“I am particularly pleased with the access to volunteering fund and the fact the Government is taking the training for volunteers so seriously,” added Neuberger.

The comments follow the release on Monday of Neuberger’s latest report, which considers the value of volunteering in the provision of health and social care (Third Sector Online, 10 March).

…But there will be in the US

Meanwhile, the Californian government has established a new cabinet-level office for volunteer management, becoming the first US state to do so.

The announcement means the governor’s commission for volunteering, California Volunteers, will maintain its staffing and budget, and its executive director will gain expanded duties as a cabinet secretary, playing a role in disaster-related planning and response efforts and coordinating volunteers at disaster sites.

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