In May 2010 the coalition government committed to encouraging more civil servants to volunteer and turn the civil service into a ‘Civic Service’. There are benefits for both the civil service and civil society organisations of encouraging civil servants to volunteer:
- Research has shown that employee volunteering can generate morale, motivation, commitment and performance.
- Employer supported volunteering can complement existing training and development programmes, but provide real-life experiences which traditional courses cannot provide.
- In 2002, MORI research found that 59% of community organisations said that business support through volunteering was of significant financial value to them.
Through the Civic Service we want to encourage even more civil servants to volunteer and to provide them with opportunities to use their skills to support civil society organisations. On 17 February 2011 the government announced that each civil servant will be encouraged to take at least one day of volunteering leave each year. Additionally the government announced that the civil service will aim to give 30, 000 volunteering days per year.
The next stages in developing the Civic Service are that:
- Permanent secretaries and senior civil servants will be asked to encourage their staff to volunteer as part of the objective setting about to take place for the next year.
- All other civil servants will be encouraged to volunteer as a means of broadening their knowledge and developing skills.
- We want to make it easier for civil society organisations and other organisations that involve volunteers to find civil service volunteers. If your organisation is interested in being involved, email firstname.lastname@example.org.