'Use volunteers for social care'

CSV says volunteers could help reduce demands on services

Volunteering charity Community Service Volunteers is urging the Government to increase the involvement of volunteers in social care services.

The Government is expected to publish a green paper this week outlining how it plans to cope with an ageing population and the resulting demands on services.

The cost of social care is expected to rise to £24bn by 2026, according to CSV, but it said increasing the role of volunteers could be an economically effective way of improving services.

The charity said volunteers could have a positive impact on service users' wellbeing and using them was an option that should be exploited by service commissioners.

Dame Elisabeth Hoodless, executive director of CSV, said: "The Government has promised a radical rethink of the care system. That new approach must include volunteers who play a vital but underestimated role in boosting the quality of life for the people they support."

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