The European Year of Volunteering 2011 Tour comes to the UK today with a week long event to inspire volunteers in London. The event, backed by the European Commission, will offer anyone interested in helping others the chance to meet charities and volunteers. It is also a chance for volunteers to get together, share their experiences and discuss issues that affect them.
The event will showcase volunteering with a range of organisations including the British Red Cross, Marie Curie, the British Heart Foundation, Orange Rockcorps, Barnardo’s and the Mayor of London’s Team London. The charity Community Service Volunteers, will launch the event on 28 October and members of the public will be welcome to drop in when they like between 29 October to 3 November. Throughout the week, there will be a series of discussions and workshops which are free of charge and open to everyone.
The European Year of Volunteering aims to promote involvement in communities across the European Union throughout 2011. As part of this, the European Commission is working with national partners to tour all EU member states, hosting events to inspire would be volunteers into action. In UK the Cabinet Office is running a series of projects to back the Year.
Nick Hurd, Minister for Civil Society, said:
“We all want a bigger, stronger society where everyone does their bit. Across the European Union volunteers are coming together to inspire others. This event is a great way for people who want to get involved to find out more about volunteering. There’s nothing more inspiring than speaking directly to volunteers who are already making a huge difference in their communities.
“The Government wants to support volunteers and to make it easier and for people to do their bit. This summer 8,000 sixteen-year-olds took part in the first National Citizen Service and other schemes such as the £10million Innovation in Giving Fund and the £20million Social Action Fund are developing new ideas, making the most of technology and encouraging volunteering across the generations.”
Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, said:
“We know there is a great desire in people to give something back and better their communities, which is why this year I launched Team London, my action plan to maximise volunteering in the capital. Londoners have set the benchmark high with an enormous range of excellent work already being undertaken by volunteering groups and I am delighted that we can showcase the heroism of our volunteers during the European Year of Volunteering Tour at Coin Street, and capture the imagination and enthusiasm of new recruits for London and the UK as a whole.”
Public entrance is free and there is no requirement to register, everyone is welcome to drop it at any point between 11am and 5pm every day. For more detail, including the full programme, see: www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/eyv11tour
Notes to editors:
1. 2011 is the European Year of Volunteering across the European Union. The tour event is visiting the capital city of every member state during 2011. The cabinet office is the national coordinating body for the Year in the UK. For more information on activity taking place across the UK during 2011 go to http://europa.eu/volunteering/en/mycountry/27 .
2. For more information on the Mayor of London’s Team London initiative, please visit: www.london.gov.uk/teamlondon