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   Did you know that next year is the European Year of Volunteering (EYV2011)?


2011 brings many exciting and interesting events for volunteers and volunteering.

The European Year of Volunteering will be launched in Budapest, Hungary in early January, where organisations across Europe come together to share good practice and innovative ideas for the benefit of volunteering for all of us.

The UK has a very sophisticated and long tradition in volunteering compared to the rest of Europe and our director Marion Schumann will be there to inform them about the impressive work the HFVC does in getting people into work following volunteering placements, letting them know about the kinds of development that some volunteers need to go that one step further from volunteering. She will also be showing how important volunteering is to social cohesion and how active citizenship works

in practice, and particularly with communities that are from the lower income scale, and how HFVC’s subsidiary Works4U, engages Business employees in communities in West London.

Who volunteers, and why?
One in five people volunteer in the UK. In Europe three out of 10 people get involved in volunteering. HFVC sees over 5000 people across West London in one year, many of those people looking to get back into work after being unemployed for many years. We know that society as a whole and the individual volunteers benefit as the local communities are strengthened through volunteering. We also know that volunteering builds up people’s skills and confidence and it makes it much easier for people to get back into employment.

With the government’s recommendations on everyone doing some form of volunteering in their Big Society programme, it is becoming more relevant to volunteer.
From 21-27 Feb students will be asked to undertake volunteering in some capacity during the Student Volunteering Week.

Volunteering events in 2011
Volunteering events are held every year that gets us all involved, such as Volunteers’ Week (1-7 June 2011), Make a Difference Day (28/29October 2011); VoluntEurope Conference in October and all our local events. Thousands of activities and projects take place and last year up to 70,000 volunteers took part nationally.

There are many changes happening with the introduction of the Big Society, where the government is calling on people to become fully involved in the civil society through volunteering.

Business Volunteering
Corporate businesses get their staff involved through Employee Supported Volunteering, a very exciting venture where staff volunteer to undertake a variety of different challenges, such as painting a school room, or wrapping presents and delivering them to older people and schools at Christmas time, as well as utilising their skills to build the capacity of small voluntary and community organisations.

Get involved now – become part of the vibrant community that volunteers.