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Departmental Voluntary Work

Volume 475: debated on Wednesday 14 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps his Department has taken to encourage volunteering among its employees in the last three years. (204929)

The DWP has actively encouraged volunteering by introducing an employer-supported volunteering scheme—Community 5000—and by our policies on public and community leave.

Community 5000 enables individuals and teams to give their working time and skills to voluntary and community organisations of relevance to our customers. Our aspiration is to give 5,000 days of the Department's time each year to the Third Sector through our DWP volunteers, improving our people's understanding of customers' needs and encouraging wider involvement in the community.

In addition to Community 5000, the Department has also long encouraged participation in the local community with a provision to apply for paid public and community leave for serving in a voluntary organisation that provides a service to the local community, such as the Lifeboat Service and Special Constabulary.