Russell consultation report 'contains nothing new'

The first criticism of the Russell Commission consultation process surfaced last week at a debate run by Student Volunteering.

Tom Green, editor of the volunteering website run by YouthNet UK, criticised the findings contained in last month's Mori report on the results of the commission's six-month consultation on youth volunteering as "nothing new".

"The pages upon pages of the report produced exactly the same conclusions that anyone could have come up with," Green said.

Steve Gee, volunteering development manager at Cancer Research UK, added that the consultation "seemed to be focused on getting people to volunteer in numbers rather than getting them to do the things that need doing".

Laura Timms, chair of Workers in Student Community Volunteering, agreed: "It's easy to get six people helping with school reading classes for an hour to boost numbers, but isn't it better to engage one person to work extensively with someone who has mental health problems?"

But Justin Davis-Smith, head of research at Volunteering England, insisted that the final report, due to be published on 15 or 16 March, would contain "radically different proposals from previous initiatives".

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