Volunteering drive launched

A new campaign will target over-25s and other under-represented groups to encourage them to volunteer.

The Community Channel and Do-it.org, the online database of volunteering opportunities, have launched It’s all about U to raise awareness of the benefits of becoming a volunteer. They have launched a new website, www.itsallaboutU.org.uk, and the Community Channel will also run a season of five short films.

The campaign, which was launched yesterday, on United Nations International Volunteer Day, also includes a profile on social networking site Facebook and a free national volunteering hotline. Several charities, including Attend, Mencap, Scope, Time Banks UK, TimeBank and Volunteer Reading Help, are offering volunteering opportunities.

Lara Samuels, campaigns director at Media Trust, which runs the Community Channel, said: “We hope It’s all about U inspires a new generation of volunteers join us in the UN’s global initiative.”

Phil Hope, Minister for the Third Sector, said: “More people than ever are willing to help out by volunteering, but there are also challenges ahead. Many people still feel unable to volunteer, particularly those on the fringes of society. That’s why the Government will continue to work to break down barriers to volunteering and to provide better and more widespread training for volunteers.”

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