Co-ordinated by Community Channel and do-it.org.uk, ‘It’s all about U’ launches with a new dedicated website www.itsallaboutU.org.uk ; a season of five short films broadcasting collectively as ‘It’s all about U’ on Community Channel throughout January 2008; support from a series of opportunity partners including Attend, Mencap, Scope, Time Banks UK, TimeBank and Volunteer Reading Help which offer ways to get active, involved and have some fun as part of volunteering; a free national helpline (0800 0681 800); additional support from METRO, GOLD and Starbucks; and a new social website on Facebook.
The campaign will also be reaching the specific ethnic communities to encourage them to find out more about volunteering in mainstream organisations with a series in press adverts, posters and in language leaflets. The campaign runs throughout December to the end of January 2008 to drive national awareness of the rewards of being a volunteer and celebrate the diverse range of opportunities available.
Ban Ki Moon, UN Secretary General, said; “On this International Volunteer Day, let us recognise the power of volunteerism to promote peace and development around the world. Let us also pay tribute to the many millions of citizens all over the world who, every day – in ways small and large – volunteer their time, ingenuity, solidarity and creativity to help build a better, more sustainable future.”
Phil Hope MP, Minister for the Third Sector, said,
“The Government recognises the importance of volunteering and I welcome this new campaign by the Media Trust to put the UN International Volunteer Day on the map and to drive awareness of the benefits of being a volunteer as part of the ‘It’s all about U’ campaign.”
“More people than ever are willing to help out by volunteering but there are also challenges ahead. Many people still feel unable to volunteer, particularly those on the fringes of society. That’s why the Government will continue to work to break down barriers to volunteering and to provide better and more widespread training for volunteers.”
Martyn Lewis CBE, Chairman & Founder of do-it.org.uk (part of the YouthNet organisation) said; “We’re delighted to be supporting Media Trust and Community Channel in raising awareness of not only the countless and varied opportunities there are available but also most importantly to celebrate both the rewards and fun of volunteering. do-it.org.uk offers a comprehensive and unique platform online to both new and existing volunteers to support this national campaign.”
‘It’s all about U’ is supported with a national marketing campaign including; UK billboard campaign in London, North East, North West, Yorkshire and Humber pro-bono advertising support from Metro Group Newspapers and additional promotional support from Bollywood cinemas across the country. Posters and leaflets are being distributed to the key target areas with supporting promotional materials including a Free Phone information line. The campaign will be translated into a variety of languages including Bengali, Chinese and Urdu.
A collection of five new short films, made by volunteers for volunteers, make up Community Channel’s new half-hour documentary from Media Trust Productions ‘It’s all about U’, to demonstrate the rewards of being a volunteer and further support awareness.