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.
I am pleased to inform the Deputy that my Department has commenced work on the new National Volunteering Strategy. A Call for Input paper was launched last December as a first step in the development of this strategy. The responses received were presented to the National Advisory Group on Volunteering, which is representative of all stakeholders and chaired by myself. This group, which has met on two occasions to date, is currently working closely with my officials in producing the draft of the National Volunteering Strategy.
When the draft is completed, there will be a further opportunity for public consultation, following which it will be submitted to Government for approval. An implementation plan for the strategy will also be developed.