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vInspired is an independent British charity dedicated to helping young people volunteer in their local communities. Its projects are designed to engage young people who are under-represented in volunteering – for example, minority groups and those not in education, employment or training. vInspired campaigns to have the benefits of volunteering recognised by everyone.
Established in May 2004 by the then Home Secretary, David Blunkett, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown, The Russell Commission set out to develop a new national framework for youth action and engagement.
Headed by Ian Russell, the CEO of Scottish Power, the Commission aimed to deliver a step change in the diversity, quality and quantity of volunteering opportunities available to young people aged 16 to 25 in the UK. With help from its youth advisory board, the YABsters, the Commission engaged a wide range of stakeholders including young people, the voluntary sector, business and the media, receiving over 700 responses from voluntary and community sector organisations, and a further 6,000 responses from young people.
The Commission’s headline recommendation was the creation of a dedicated implementation body, to take the lead in delivering the new framework in England – which was launched as v in May 2006, and changed its name to vInspired in January 2011.
Since its launch in May 2006, vInspired has worked with over 500 charities and community organisations to create over 925,000 youth volunteering opportunities. Of these, 467,000 are short term or taster opportunities, 421,000 are part time, and 20,000 are full time. Over 400,000 of these have already been taken up, with the rest being offered to young people up to March 2011.
vInspired works with over 500 voluntary sector organisations and over 150 private sector partners to create innovative youth volunteering opportunities.
The organisation also runs the following grants programmes:
- the match fund
The vinvolved Team Network
Launched in April 2008, vinvolved, the national youth volunteering programme, aims to get half a million more young people positively involved in their communities.*
vInspired’s England-wide network of 107 vinvolved teams ensures that young people and voluntary organisations can access expert advice and help.
As of March 2011, all vinvolved teams came to an end due to cut in government funding.