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Volunteer Cornwall puts out rallying cry to help communities in austerity

By WBNews  |  Posted: April 04, 2013

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A Cornish volunteering charity is issuing a rallying cry in the face of ongoing austerity and further cuts to public services.

Volunteer Cornwall said resources such as people's valuable time need to be put to good  use to help protect Cornwall from the worst of the cuts.

Andy Brelsford, from Volunteer Cornwall, said: "We have to go on fighting for more funding for Cornwall at every level but we also have to accept the reality that money alone wont solve all our problems. We need to unleash the power of people and get everyone in the county actively involved in community life."

And to show its commitment to the cause, the organisation aims to try to get everyone in Cornwall volunteering.

"We have set ourselves and Cornwall the goal of being the first and only county in the country to achieve 100 per cent volunteering rates," said Mr Brelsford. "Although we already have the highest levels in UK at over 32 per cent, we think the current situation with shrinking public services and austerity biting even deeper requires new thinking. All of the resources we need to thrive and prosper are already within our midst in the form of us – people power."

As well as traditional volunteering roles such as youth work and fundraising, people can get involved through initiatives like Time Banks and last year's Random Acts of Kindness week.

Now, working with partners including Age UK, the NHS and Cornwall Council, Volunteer Cornwall has helped develop Changing Lives, which focuses on involving volunteers in what it calls 'co-production' to create and deliver services were previously seen as the responsibility of the state or corporate business.

To find out more call 01872 265307 or visit www.volunteercornwall.org.uk

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4 comments

  • TWINSCREW  |  April 07 2013, 10:27AM

    Building a stadium may be contentious but it will provide much needed work for local people and maybe bring investment in from outside, at the moment we need employment which will stimulate the local economy by people spending their wages. I'm sure there is private money out there which is being held back because of uncertainty within the EU and of course the banks, which caused our current woes not lending to small businesses.

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  • nickthompson  |  April 07 2013, 9:24AM

    "Here is someone who's absence means he is is unable to volunteer" "All in it together? Clegg swaps austerity Britain for his family's £7million, 20-room Swiss ski chalet •Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg jetted out for an family Easter getaway •Luxury villa nestled between fashionable Klosters and the resort of Davos •This is his second holiday this year despite the flatlining economy and debate over benefit cuts. Three days earlier, he sat stern-faced through the Coalition's latest 'we're all in it together' Budget. But with a flatlining economy and the row raging over benefits cuts, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg knew exactly where he needed to be – at his family's £7million, 20-room, Swiss ski chalet. Leaving the stress of austerity Britain behind, he jetted out with his family for an Easter getaway at the luxury villa nestling between fashionable Klosters and the resort of Davos.

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  • Kate_Cody  |  April 05 2013, 1:56PM

    Although commendable - by volunteers providing the services that Government should be providing, are we facilitating the cuts that are being made? If, as so many have said, the cuts will end up costing the government more are we disguising those costs and so making the policies appear successful? And if professionals were providing these services for a decent wage, and now they are provided for free by volunteers is this not an excuse for further job cuts? Personally I think volunteering can be great, but a skilled professional job deserves to be paid - and volunteers should not be used to plug the gap and fulfill the Governments obligations.

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  • MarkStJohn  |  April 05 2013, 12:41PM

    All very commendable but how can a county planning to build a brand new sports stadium possibly be crying poverty!!

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