date: 25 October 2010
embargo: For immediate release
The TUC has today (Monday) called on the government to introduce a new Community Day public holiday on the last Monday in October 2013.
A new bank holiday in late October would be particularly popular as it would break the four month gap between the August and Christmas bank holidays and would coincide with schools' autumn half term holiday, says the TUC.
Community Day would encourage volunteering and involvement in community groups, and could focus on local galas and events that would celebrate the work of voluntary and community groups.
Community Day would make sound economic sense, says the TUC. Encouraging one in ten people to do five hours of volunteering a year could be worth £500 million, and people could learn new employment-related skills through their involvement.
The announcement in the spending review that plans have been made for a special bank holiday on Monday 4 June next year to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee shows that a Community Day bank holiday is affordable, the TUC says.
Community Day should start the year after the one-off Diamond Jubilee public holiday, say the TUC, but the government should decide soon in order to allow the necessary planning to take place.
TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said: 'One of the best things about our national character is the extent to which people are willing to help each other.
'People in the UK already have a solid record of getting involved in voluntary and community work, but there is still a great potential for more people to join in.
'A new bank holiday with a theme of encouraging people to take an active role in their communities would be the perfect way to bring the country together.'
NOTES TO EDITORS:
- The Community Day coalition, which includes the TUC, the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO), Community Service Volunteers (CSV), Volunteering England and the National Association for Voluntary and Community Action (NAVCA), is calling for a new Community Day bank holiday to celebrate volunteering and encourage people to take part in community events. Further information about the campaign is available at www.communityday.org.uk
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Issued: 25 October, 2010