Cultural Playing Field

European Year of Volunteering 2011 Working Group meeting by Robin Simpson
November 18, 2010, 7:42 pm
Filed under: meetings | Tags: , , , , , ,

On Monday afternoon I was at the Cabinet Office for my first meeting as a member of the European Year of Volunteering 2011 Working Group. The Office for Civil Society (OCS) is the national co-ordinating body for the European Year of Volunteering 2011 and the Working Group is overseeing the OCS work programme for the year in England. The four priorities for the year are:

  1. Encourage and enable individuals to make a contribution within their communities and help solve social issues by volunteering.
  2. Promote good practice within the private, public and voluntary and community sector in relation to the development of effective employer supported volunteering (ESV) programmes.
  3. Identify and share good practice and resources relating to effective volunteer management.
  4. Promote good practice in opening the doors to volunteering opportunities to those traditionally less likely to volunteer (e.g. disabled people, those from minority ethnic backgrounds, the unemployed etc.).


OCS plans to address the first of these priorities through five themes (alongside specific activities relating to the other three priorities). These themes are:

  • Young people and children
  • Environment
  • Sport
  • Culture and the arts
  • Health and social care


Each theme will be the subject of a two-month ‘spotlight’ period within the year: culture and the arts is currently scheduled to be the focus for September and October 2011. At Monday’s meeting we discussed the process by which volunteer-involving organisations in England (including voluntary arts groups) will be able to ‘badge’ their activities as part of the European Year of Volunteering 2011. We also looked in detail at the arrangements for the European Commission’s ‘tour’ event which will visit London at the beginning of June 2011. This will be an opportunity to raise public awareness about volunteering (and the year).

Robin Simpson.

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