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News - 17 July 2004

Where are Brighton's volunteers?

While the Brighton City Centre Business Forum is looking to enlist volunteers to clean up graffiti it is encouraging to note that there has been a marked increase in the number of citizens giving up their time to work for the good of the community. At least half of us are doing our bit for society.

The total contribution of all volunteers to the economy can be estimated at around £42.6 billion, according to a new report published by Home Office Minister Fiona Mactaggart.

The findings in Active Communities: Headline Findings from the 2003 Home Office Citizenship Survey show the extent of citizens' participation in making a difference in their communities. The Government is backing their efforts with a drive to work in partnership with the voluntary sector and help it become more sustainable.

Key findings in the report are:

  • The proportion of the population in England engaged in active community participation at least once a month has risen significantly, from 48% in 2001 (around 18.8 million people) to 51% in 2003 (around 20.3 million).
  • The equivalent contribution to the economy made by people volunteering formally and informally in their community was around £34.3 billion in 2001 rising to around £42.6 billion in 2003.

Fiona Mactaggart said, "The Prime Minister's target of one million more people volunteering their time between 2001 and 2003 has been exceeded, and we are on course to exceed the Home Office's own target of raising volunteering by 5% by 2006.”

Where are Brighton’s volunteers? The City Centre Forum needs you to help clean up graffiti. Anyone interested in helping should contact Soozie Campbell on 01273 380040 or at Soozie@mmp.co.uk.


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