Supporting the role of volunteers in our society is an important element of my Department's work in developing vibrant, sustainable and inclusive communities. Consequently, the development of a National Volunteering Strategy is a key priority for my Department.
The first step in the development of the strategy was a Call for Input paper launched last December. The responses received were presented to the National Advisory Group on Volunteering which is representative of all stakeholders and chaired by myself. This group has met on three occasions to date and has provided a comprehensive input into the development of the strategy. In addition, my officials attended a youth consultation event organised by Foroige last month to seek the input and engagement of young people into the development of the strategy.
It is anticipated that the draft strategy will be finalized later this month, following which there will be a further opportunity for public consultation before the strategy is submitted for Government approval. Details of the public consultation will be available at www.gov.ie.