Today Catherine Bearder MEP visited Hampshire to highlight that 2011 is the European Year of Volunteering and attend a Hampshire Volunteer Network Meeting.
The Network was established in 1995 and is a partnership between 14 Volunteer Centres across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight; the main purpose of which is to work collaboratively to ensure effective and efficient county-wide delivery of a Volunteer Centres six core functions.
Catherine attended the Network meeting to get an understanding of how the network operates and the different challenges they face with different demographics and funding.
After the visit Catherine commented:
"As 2011 is the European Year of Volunteering I want to encourage as many people as possible to volunteer their time to help others.
"Here in Hampshire, I was able to meet representatives from across the county and the Isle of Wight and here first hand the challenges they're facing and also about some brilliant success stories.
"It was particularly interesting to hear that the biggest problem faced by voluntary organisations wasn't a lack of volunteers it was a lack of necessary skills, particularly IT management and fundraising skills.
"I would strongly encourage anyone that has these skills and has some time to offer to contact their local volunteer centre."