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Volunteering and sector news

London is European Volunteering Capital 2016

The Mayor's Community Reception Lewisham and Greenwich and Team London Awards, London's Living Room, City Hall. Mayor Boris Johnson holding award together with Team London and James Banks of GLV who is holding certificate for London being voted European Voluntary Capital 2016. Photo: Eleanor Bentall.

The Mayor’s Community Reception Lewisham and Greenwich and Team London Awards, London’s Living Room, City Hall. Mayor Boris Johnson holding award together with Team London and James Banks of GLV who is holding certificate for London being voted European Voluntary Capital 2016. Photo: Eleanor Bentall.

London has been crowned European Volunteering Capital 2016, following a successful bid led by Team London and Greater London Volunteering which was delivered to the European Volunteer Centre (CEV).

The CEV is the network of over 80 national, regional and local volunteer centres and volunteer support agencies across Europe. For 20 years CEV has promoted and supported volunteering through advocacy, knowledge sharing and capacity building and training.

Competing against 10 other cities, London won for its innovative programmes and its creative approach to funding and resourcing volunteer organisations and infrastructure organisations.

Gabriella Civico, director of CEV, said: “The city is an outstanding example of how local government, local people and businesses can strategically harness the benefits of volunteering to improve people’s lives and the environment, and contribute to socially cohesive communities.”

In a statement, Boris Johnson the Mayor of London said: “I’m very proud that London has been recognised as the top volunteering city in Europe. Tens of thousands of Londoners are now giving a hand to others and helping to make London a cleaner, greener and more welcoming place for everyone.” “I am delighted all ‎our efforts have been recognised. We worked with Greater London Volunteering to win the bid, so I will start by thanking James and the teams in the volunteer centres.” “I would also like to thank everyone who posted photos encouraging people to ‘vote London’, and of course our funders and wonderful delivery partners.‎ Without all of you, we could not have achieved this prestigious award.”

Greater London Volunteering would like to thank Team London, the local volunteer centres, and most importantly, all of London’s fantastic and truly inspirational volunteers, for helping London secure this title.

For more information about this story please see the following articles:

Volunteer for Crisis at Christmas 2015

Crisis at Christmas is the largest operation of its kind in Europe, with the number of people helping over Christmas growing each year and reaching an unprecedented height of almost 13,000 volunteers involved during Crisis at Christmas 2014. Homelessness in England has risen markedly recently with rough sleeping increasing by 55% over the same period and by 14% in the last year alone, so Crisis have some way to go before their services cater for the number of homeless people in need. This year Crisis are preparing to support over 4,000 homeless people and looking to recruit over 11,000 people in eleven centres in London – the dedication and passion of volunteers at Crisis at Christmas is needed now more than ever!

Crisis have a large selection of volunteering roles available, from general volunteers to logistic support, activities and entertainment as well as specialist services like healthcare, advice and catering volunteers needed, but they are particularly in need for more support at their residential centres in London (Outreach, Winters, Link, the Gate and Women’s centre) and are desperately seeking night volunteers (see the story of a night volunteer here).  For more information about Crisis at Christmas and to sign up for volunteering with them this year click here.

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