World Food Day 16th October 2012

You may or may not be aware that Tuesday 16th October 2012 is World Food Day.
The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) celebrates World Food Day annually and the theme for this year is:
“Agricultural Co-operatives: Key to Feeding the World”

Third Sector Community Volunteers Continue to Develop

Third Sector Community Volunteers Continue to Develop

The Community Food Co-operative Programme in Wales is dependent on volunteers. If it were not for them generously giving their time, there would not be in excess of 340 community food co-ops running across Wales. They are the driving force in their communities and we want to say a huge thank you for making a commitment to healthy eating, local food and community development become a reality through the programme.
The Welsh Government defines volunteering as “An important expression of citizenship and an essential component of democracy. It is the commitment of time and energy for the benefit of society and the community and can take many forms. It is undertaken freely and by choice, without concern for financial gain”. RRU volunteers certainly fulfil this description. The time and energy used for the benefit of society and community by our volunteers is amazing. Each volunteer gives approximately two hours a week of their time to their community or school food co-op, often more, in particular where lead volunteers are concerned. The evaluation done by BMG research calculated that volunteers with the community food co-operative programme give in excess of 160,762 hours a year of volunteering.
According to the Chief executive of WCVA Graham Benfield, in the years 2010-11 there has been a reduction in spending on the third sector. With rising prices and pay freezes, this resulted in an even greater challenge for third sector organisations. Since April 2012 there have been, on average approximately 2303 volunteers involved each month with the community food co-ops programme, with 158 of these being new volunteers. Also, the 2010-11 WCVA volunteer of the year award received 20% more nominations than in 2009-10. These two factors demonstrate the third sector community to now be stronger than ever.
WCVA provides numerous services to the public, volunteers and also to third sector organisations. These include conferences and seminars on subjects of major interest to the sector, a third sector recruitment service via http://www.recruit3.org.uk and a third sector trading website via http://www.3to3.org.ukwhich helps charities and social enterprises reach more customers.
WCVA also manages the Sustainable Funding Cymru website. http://www.sustainablefundingcymru.org.ukPlease see last month’s blog entry for more about our thoughts on sustainability.