Cultural Playing Field

Volunteering and the Cultural Olympiad by Robin Simpson
April 25, 2008, 2:03 pm
Filed under: meetings | Tags: , , , , ,

This morning I presented a session on the 2012 Cultural Olympiad at the Volunteering England Convention in Gateshead at which I launched the second VAN ‘Once in a Lifetime’ Briefing – available shortly at: – which explains how to develop and submit project ideas for the UK-wide cultural festival. It was good to hear Sarah Benioff (Deputy Director of the Office of the Third Sector at the Cabinet Office) later in the morning referring to the importance of the Cultural Olympiad in helping to develop a sustainable legacy of increased volunteering. Sarah took a fair bit of flak from delegates – particularly about the lack of sustainable funding for local volunteer centres. Someone made the point that, welcome though the Government’s new Access to Volunteering fund to encourage more disabled volunteers is, this £4M investment compares poorly with the £117M recently allocated to youth volunteering. But I think the Office of the Third Sector gains credibility and respect by regularly being willing to put up senior civil servants to listen to the sector at conferences and seminars.

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