§ Mr. John Patten
The opportunities for volunteering scheme has proved successful at enabling volunteers to make a contribution to the health and welfare of their fellow citizens. There may nevertheless be ways in which both the administration and the targetting of the scheme could be amended to make it even more effective.
For instance, one part of the scheme could be directed particularly to harnessing the energy and enthusiasm of young people, especially those without jobs.
I have today, therefore, issued a consultation paper seeking comments on a number of points that need to be settled before the scheme is placed on a long term basis from April 1986. Copies of the paper will be distributed by the voluntary organisations who act as agents in the scheme through their networks in the voluntary sector. Copies have also been placed in the Library.
In the meantime, as my right hon. Friend announced on 5 October, the fourth stage of the scheme will run in its present form from April 1985 to March 1986.