Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education

Front Page



UK Politics







Talking Point

In Depth

On Air

Low Graphics

Wednesday, September 1, 1999 Published at 08:51 GMT 09:51 UK


Millennium volunteers wanted

A party will be held at the millennium dome to celebrate volunteers

The government is investing £1.9m in a scheme to encourage Britain to become a nation of volunteers for the millennium.

The aim is to get everyone to devote two hours a week to voluntary work, the government said on Wednesday.

The money has been given to the ONE20 charity which aims to promote work in community initiatives during millennium year.

The £1.9 million grant is one of a £6.5m government package to get Britain volunteering.

The Media Trust is to get £200,000 to set up a free digital TV channel dedicated to community issues.

This could include adverts from charities seeking volunteers.

Another beneficiary is a project to involve 15,000 volunteers in the running of the Commonwealth Games in Manchester 2002.


However, the majority of the money - some £4.5m - will be spent on research into why people become volunteers and what holds them back.

The research projects are being run by the Home Office and local authorities in Brighton and Hove, East Sussex, Camden, north London, Halton and Warrington, Cheshire, Luton, Beds and North Tyneside.

The government says it is also supporting a celebration of Britain's volunteers next March.

It will kick off with the Active Community Convention and Celebration and culminate in a party at the Millennium Dome.

Announcing the money, Home Office minister Paul Boateng said it would help inspire people who wanted to make a positive difference to other people and their communities.

Cabinet minister Lord Falconer said: "We all live in communities and we all benefit from belonging to them.

"Local football clubs, residents' associations and mother and toddler groups are common examples of how people get together to help each other.

"We want to encourage this, to make explicit to people the joys that can be gained from helping others and to recognise the achievements of people who are already volunteering," he said.


Meanwhile, the chief executive of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations says the government could better support charities and community groups by doing more to encourage people to donate money.

Writing in The Guardian, Stuart Etherington calls for a series of measures to be taken by the government.

These include the introduction of tax relief on all traceable donations, government efforts to get the wealthy to give more through promotion of tax relief schemes and moves to make it easier for workers to donate money regularly through their payroll.

Advanced options | Search tips

Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©

UK Contents

Northern Ireland

Relevant Stories

20 Jul 99†|†UK
Charities warn of continuing donor crisis

Internet Links

Home Office

National Council for Voluntary Organisations

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

In this section

Next steps for peace

Blairs' surprise over baby

Bowled over by Lord's

Beef row 'compromise' under fire

Hamilton 'would sell mother'

Industry misses new trains target

From Sport
Quins fightback shocks Cardiff

From Business
Vodafone takeover battle heats up

IRA ceasefire challenge rejected

Thousands celebrate Asian culture

From Sport
Christie could get two-year ban

From Entertainment
Colleagues remember Compo

Mother pleads for baby's return

Toys withdrawn in E.coli health scare

From Health
Nurses role set to expand

Israeli PM's plane in accident

More lottery cash for grassroots

Pro-lifers plan shock launch

Double killer gets life

From Health
Cold 'cure' comes one step closer

From UK Politics
Straw on trial over jury reform

Tatchell calls for rights probe into Mugabe

Ex-spy stays out in the cold

From UK Politics
Blair warns Livingstone

From Health
Smear equipment `misses cancers'

From Entertainment
Boyzone star gets in Christmas spirit

Fake bubbly warning

Murder jury hears dead girl's diary

From UK Politics
Germ warfare fiasco revealed

Blair babe triggers tabloid frenzy

Tourists shot by mistake

A new look for News Online