support to become volunteers for a year after they finish school,
college or training.
David Blunkett today announced the details of a pilot scheme which
will give young people an allowance of £45 a week to encourage them
to become volunteers.
Those who take part will also get a lump sum of £750 after
successfully completing nine months of volunteering, and may qualify
for housing, council tax and health benefits. They will also have
meals and travel costs paid for by volunteering providers.
The £5m Young Volunteer Challenge, which begins in May, will
benefit 1,200 young people aged 18 to 21 through pilots in 10 areas
throughout England. To take part, volunteers must commit to at least
30 hours a week.
The initiative is being delivered by the Department for Education and
Skills to encourage more young people, whatever their backgrounds, to
go into volunteering before continuing their learning. It contributes
to the government drive to increase volunteering and community
involvement throughout the country.
Welcoming the initiative, Mr Clarke said:
'The government is committed to supporting volunteering in our
communities. It is vital that we give young people the opportunity to
do it from a young age because it offers them unique learning
experiences which stay with them throughout their lives.
'But we appreciate that some young people may be put off becoming
volunteers because of their financial circumstances. The Young
Volunteer Challenge aims to change that, and offer the right support
to give more young people the chance to help their communities and
develop their own skills through volunteering.'
Home secretary David Blunkett said:
'Volunteering develops the individual, strengthens the community and
enriches the nation. Thi s pilot is clear evidence of our commitment
to increase the numbers of people who volunteer, especially those who
wouldn't normally consider doing so or have the financial means to
give up there time.
'This scheme will offer an opportunity for these people to make a
positive contribution to their communities, while increasing their
skills and giving them a chance of a better future.'
The initiative will be run in selected Education Maintenance
Allowance areas, where there are a high number of young people
from low-income families. Young people who have qualified for the EMA
because they are from households with an income of £13,000 or less
will be able to take part.
This Notice applies to England.
1. The government has set a target of increasing community
participation by 5 per cent by 2006. The Home Office Citizenship
survey showed that more than 18 million people in England aged 16 and
over were regularly active in their communities. The challenge is to
increase this number by 900,000 by 2006. This includes volunteering -
both formal and informal - as well as other forms of civic activity.
The Citizenship Survey will be repeated in 2003 and 2005 to monitor
2. The Young Volunteer Challenge pilot areas will be confirmed
shortly, and will include at least one rural area.
3. A total of 56 Education Maintenance Allowance areas have been set
up since September 1999 to offer incentives and encourage young
people to stay on in education whatever their backgrounds.
4. This announcement provides the detail of the Young Volunteer
Challenge which was first announced in the chancellor of the
exchequer's pre-budget report in November 2002 .
5. The scheme will largely benefit 18 and 19 year olds, although
young people with special needs aged up to 21 will also be able to