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Olympics boosts volunteering in Cornwall by 40 per cent, says Volunteer Cornwall

Volunteer placements supported by the charity have increased from 263 in the second quarter of 2011 to 372 in the same period this year

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The Cornish volunteering charity Volunteer Cornwall has said it has seen a 40 per cent rise in people taking up volunteering placements over the past year. 

The charity, which has about 5,000 volunteers on its database, put the increase down to the Olympics.

Volunteer Cornwall matches would-be volunteers to charitable organisations and operates three volunteer centres in St Austell, Redruth and Liskeard. It also runs an online volunteering database viewable by anyone interested in giving their time.

Andy Brelsford, support and development manager at Volunteer Cornwall, said that between April and July 2011 the charity helped 263 people find volunteering roles. It supported 372 people into volunteering placements during the same period this year, he said.

"The figures have never gone up so high before," he said. "The torch relay started out in Cornwall and I think really helped to capture people's interest in volunteering."

Brelsford said many more people were likely to have used Volunteer Cornwall's website to find volunteer placements without involving the volunteering charity. 

But the rise in volunteer activity comes at a time when Volunteer Cornwall has been forced to cut four members of staff, leaving it with 40 employees, after it had to pull out of a Work Programme contract because of a lack of referrals.

As a result, from October all of its volunteer centres will open four days a week instead of five. Brelsford added that the charity was doing all it could to help match volunteers to charities.

This article was taken from www.thirdsector.co.uk – http://www.thirdsector.co.uk/news/1145354