§ Mr. Newton
We launched Opportunities for Volunteering in May 1982. The scheme, which is administered by 16 national voluntary organisations acting as agents of the Department, provides grants for local voluntary projects to enable unemployed people to participate in voluntary work related to health and personal social services.
The scheme has proved simple, flexible and effective, and has had a correspondingly enthusiastic reception from the voluntary sector. The indications are that already about 15,000 people are involved in some 400 local projects as a result.
In response to requests from the agents to build on success, we have more than doubled, from £3.3 million to £7.6 million, the amount available for the scheme in 1982–84. Of this total, £2.6 million is allocated to 1982–83 and £5 million to 1983–84.