Society: Young find community work uncool

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The Independent Online
Young people are being deterred from helping in the community because it is not a trendy thing to do, according to a new report. Teenagers and people in their early 20s said they were put off from volunteering by the "stigma" attached to it.

Tom Watson, 17, from London, said, "More young people would volunteer if they knew about it and it was a cool thing to do. But at the moment my friends just think that everyone who volunteers is a do-gooder."

The research was carried out by the charity Community Service Volunteers (CSV) who are backing the Government's Millennium Volunteers initiative which aims to encourage more young people into doing community service. CSV found that young people aged 16 to 25 wanted recognition in the form of a certificate or award for their work but not financial remuneration. However, they did want proper contracts and adequate training.

Elisabeth Hoodless, CSV's director, said: "The Government has placed volunteering high on the agenda with initiatives such as Millennium Volunteers... For these to succeed, we must transform volunteering to make it as attractive to young people as Nike trainers."