Letter: A life of service to the community?

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The Independent Online
Sir: As a nation, Britain is failing to use the talents of young people ('Too young and too precious to waste', 12 May), with many young people between 16 and 18 not in education, training or employment. However there is a political answer.

At a CSV (Community Service Volunteers) seminar on the future of volunteering, academics, young people and politicians all spoke of the need for a scheme of Nationwide Community Service for all young people.

A Gallup poll commissioned by CSV revealed that 64 per cent of Britain's 16- to 24-year-olds agree that the Government should introduce a scheme for all young people to do voluntary community service when they leave school.

CSV's experience of placing over 3,000 young people a year as full-time volunteers shows that when young people are given the opportunity to use their talents in the community, both they and the people they help benefit immensely.

A Nationwide Community Service scheme could well be the political solution to many of the problems Hamish McRae noted.

Yours sincerely,

ELISABETH HOODLESS

Executive director, CSV

London, N1

12 May

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