April 20, 2010
FREDERICTON (CNB) - A steering committee has been formed to lead the development of a new volunteer centre for Fredericton.
"The community recognizes there is a need to establish a volunteer centre in Fredericton," said Minister of State for Seniors Brian Kenny, who is also minister responsible for the Community Non-Profit Organizations Secretariat. "The capital has numerous activities and events taking place throughout the year. There are also various community-based services being provided to meet the needs of people. A volunteer centre will serve as a one-stop shop for non-profit groups and potential volunteers to connect, share information and get the work done."
The idea of the volunteer centre was first discussed during the Greater Fredericton Social Innovation "open space forum" held earlier this year. This forum brought together residents, non-profit organizations, and public and private sector organizations to form a community development network.
This network is focused on sharing resources, co-ordinating services and working together for the benefit of the capital. An eight-member steering committee was formed to make the volunteer centre a reality. Judy Coates, committee co-chair, hopes to see the centre open within a year. No location has yet been determined.
"The volunteer centre will be a real asset for recruitment and education on volunteering," Coates said. "It will serve to increase awareness, encourage community spirit and raise the profile of volunteerism. Groups that depend on volunteers will have a place to come to for help, and volunteers will be able to meet with them through the centre and find the right match for what they want to do."
The committee is exploring various models for the centre, while partnerships with existing organizations and businesses will be sought to support it. A survey of non-profit organizations will also be completed.
"We are still in the early stages of development," Coates said. "But we have big plans for what the volunteer centre will mean in the community. For example, as I am an international student adviser at St. Thomas University, it will be easier for me to have one place to refer students when they express a desire to volunteer. It will be a great way to get youth interested in being in our province and involved in community service."
Other volunteer centres operate on the Acadian Peninsula and in Moncton, Saint John, St. Stephen and Miramichi. These centres offer volunteer opportunities in various community-based services to improve quality of life around the province.
For more information on the Fredericton Volunteer Centre project, contact Coates at 506-452-0578 or e-mail, email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer may contact a centre by calling 506-727-1860 in Caraquet; 506-869-6977 in Moncton; 506-658-1555 in Saint John; 506-622-6565 in Miramichi; or 506-466-4995 in St. Stephen.
The Community Non-Profit Organizations Secretariat regularly brings volunteer groups together to collaborate.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Judy Cole, communications, Community Non-Profit Organizations Secretariat, 506-444-3522; Judy Coates, steering committee co-chair, 506-452-0578.