Speaking in advance of the second phase of a Wales-wide campaign to encourage people to volunteer, the Minister said resolutions such as getting fit, learning a new skill, preparing for a new job or promising to spend your spare time more wisely could all be encompassed in one resolution – becoming a volunteer.
“Volunteering is an excellent way of meeting new people, gaining experience and confidence. In the current economic climate it can also equip you with new skills which could help with finding a job. By giving a little you can gain a lot, so everyone wins.
“Anyone can volunteer, and there are enough opportunities across Wales for everyone to find something that suits them. I would encourage everyone to make time in their lives for volunteering and the New Year is a very good time to start,” the Minister said.
The first phase of the campaign was launched to coincide with Volunteers Week in June, based around radio and press adverts, local events and a website, giving information on how to volunteer, information on local opportunities and advice to organisations looking to recruit volunteers.
Since then website enquiries soared from 1,750 in June 2008 to 3,750 in June 2009. Volunteer centres also expect an increase of 174% in enquiries in 2009/10 compared to 2008/09, based on enquiries during the first three months.
The New Year campaign, which starts next week, also includes radio and press adverts and further development of the website.
Graham Benfield OBE, chief executive of WCVA, said:
“More and more people are coming forward to volunteer, not just to help others, but to get involved in their community and take practical action on the issues which matter most.
“As a result, there is evidence that people who volunteer are healthier and happier, and it’s a great way of really beginning a lasting happy new year”.
28 December 2009