Volunteering drive among minorities

The Media Trust and volunteering website www.do-it.org.uk are launching a campaign to encourage people from the Bangladeshi, Pakistani and Chinese communities to volunteer.

It's All About U hopes to succeed where more mainstream campaigns have failed and to boost volunteering among these groups.

Government studies have shown that volunteering tends to be lower among ethnic minorities, although this varies from group to group. It's All About U, which runs until the end of January next year, is targeting the Bangladeshi, Pakistani and Chinese communities, where the figures are particularly low.

Campaigning materials will be translated into their native languages for first generation immigrants. The Marketing Effect, the agency running the campaign, will use Bollywood cinema advertising and social networking site Facebook to get its message across.

Dal Singh, ethnic marketing specialist at the agency, said: "Part of the problem is that there isn't a tradition of volunteering within these groups and there's a tendency for people to say, ‘What's in it for me?'

"So we have tweaked the message to accentuate the benefits, such as how volunteering looks good on your CV and can help you get a job.

"It won't lead to ghettoisation because as well as raising awareness of culturally specific volunteering opportunities, such as working for a Muslim youth helpline, we will also be trying to increase involvement in more mainstream opportunities."

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