Conservative Council boosts volunteering

Conservative Wiltshire Council is launching a major new plan to help boost the volunteering work taking place in the county.

The Wiltshire Volunteering Strategy and Action Plan will be officially unveiled at next week’s Voluntary and Community Sector Awards, which celebrates the work of the county’s volunteers.

Cabinet member, John Thomson, said: “With the ever increasing economic pressure facing us and the extra demands this places on us all, the need for a strong volunteering community has never been greater. This plan sets out a vision where local people can help their communities through volunteering. Working with partner organisations and the voluntary sector we will support schemes that make volunteering easier and a more attractive prospect for people. We recognise the importance of volunteers and this plan will give them more support and help even more people to become volunteers.”

The plan was developed after six months work across the public, voluntary and business sectors. It aims to reduce the bureaucracy surrounding volunteering, improve transport networks for volunteers, support unemployed volunteers and other unrepresented groups and develop supported volunteering for people with additional needs. The strategy also sets out how to improve the profile, quality and range of volunteering roles. It will aim to provide more flexible volunteering opportunities, ensure volunteering leads to results that are valued by communities, help people find roles closer to home and encourage businesses to develop volunteering schemes.

The importance of volunteers was clearly demonstrated when hundreds of people put their names forward to help operate  the county’s nine  smallest libraries and extend the opening hours of six others.

The Wiltshire Voluntary and Community Sector Awards takes place at The Corn Exchange, Devizes on Tuesday 4 October 2011.

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