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Chief Commisoner's Blog | The perks of volunteering

Wayne talks about our recent public affairs work and a wider-spreading recognition of volunteering…


Last week saw encouraging signs of the benefits to be gained from our Public Affairs work over the past few years as both the Conservative and Labour parties have outlined volunteer-friendly policies in the run up to the General Election, and recognised the role of Scouting amongst others as examples of this.
Back in February 2010 I wrote about Getting Volunteering Right – What Role for Central Government? when we launched our report with Social Market Foundation.

Our ongoing work with the Civil Service, most departments of which have such policies already, to ensure consistency has also resulted in helpful changes from HMRC earlier this year, recognising the value of volunteering with Scouts.
It was also great that our work in ensuring employers see such policies as a benefit rather that a liability was recognised with endorsement from the likes of CBI businesses including BT and Vodaphone. Our own research has shown that employers could save money, increase moral and still make a positive impact on their communities.

Good for everybody

It was great to see Scouting’s role in volunteering feature in the 6pm BBC news report of the volunteering policies and the benefits it would have.
Interestingly, I appreciate from many comments made by volunteers that some are concerned that it’s not volunteering if it’s paid leave, or that their employers will feel less of them or reduce career opportunities. Several employers report low take-up of such schemes. The key endorsement of many leading employers and their organisations will hopefully go a long way to reassure volunteers that such policies are good for everybody – employers, employees and our communities – and that increasing numbers will take full advantage of them.
To learn more about our Public Affairs work and how you can help us get our messages across to politicians please contact citizen@scouts.org.uk



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