I chaired the first meeting of the National Advisory Group on Volunteering this week.
We have received 130 submissions to our call for papers on developing a National Volunteering Strategy, which is one of our key objectives.
It is important that all stakeholders have the opportunity to sit around the table to raise their issues in relation to volunteering and for me, as Minister of State for Rural and Community Development, to listen to those views.
This will ensure that the volunteering strategy which emerges properly captures the range of issues involved and also ensures that the strategy reflects our vision for the future of volunteering.
This is key to supporting the work of the voluntary community, who make such an enormous contribution to our society.