Utilising the untapped potential of people across the country who want to make a difference

A key opportunity of this pandemic is to build on the spirit of togetherness we have seen and enhance the renewed desire of people to support their communities through public service. We saw it when the NHS first asked for volunteers to support their local communities with over 750,000 people signing up in just four days and the entire nation clapping for carers from their doorsteps. Whilst this is an obvious response to a particular problem currently dominating national life, it also shows the overwhelming desire for people to make a difference, give up their time and be a part of something bigger. We also saw this spirit at London 2012 with the Games Makers volunteers and we see it at other big sporting and national events. The Games Makers subsequently led to the creation of the ‚’Join In‚’ network as a database to join up volunteering opportunities, which didn‚’t quite capture the imagination of the public at large. But this pandemic has created that clear opportunity to bring the country together and make the most of the national mood. As we look to emerge out of lockdown in the Spring, amidst the backdrop of leaving the EU, many people are looking for positive change and ways to harness togetherness and inclusion more than ever. We already have the established National Citizen Service for young people, but this is the time to rethink how the state can use technology to provide a platform to coordinate a meaningful national network of volunteering opportunities for all people across the UK, which can be recognised formally by government.




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