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Saturday, January 21, 2017

Give legal status to volunteers, says MP

Clwyd South Labour MP Susan Elan Jones (pictured) has called on the Government to give an official legal status to full-time volunteers.

Speaking in the House of Commons as MPs examined the National Citizen Service Bill, she said: "Volunteering does not have any legal status in this country.

"Indeed, volunteers aged 18 and over, or anyone else, could be designated as not in employment, education or training.

"For those aged 18-plus who go on volunteering programmes, there is no agreement that that should mean national insurance contributions and the like. We need to develop those ideas."

The MP also spoke about the importance of involving more young people as charity trustees and in bringing together people from different backgrounds She also paid tribute to the Community Participation element of the Welsh Baccalaureat.

Speaking afterwards, Susan Elan Jones MP said: "In America since the days of President Johnson and President Kennedy, full-time volunteering - or 'service' as it's often called - has a legal status and huge numbers of young people take part in it.

"The same is true also in France, Germany and other countries - and I think it is something we need to look at here too."

Ms Jones will next week serve as a member of the Bill Committee for the National Citizen Service Bill.

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