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BAA Communities Trust 10th Birthday Boost for Youth Volunteering


22 March 2006, BAA Communities Trust has pledged up to £450,000 to support a national initiative to engage 1 million extra young people in volunteering and community action.

The Trust, established by BAA plc 10 years ago, is to set up a three year partnership with a new youth volunteering charity tasked to implement the recommendations of the Russell Commission.

The Commission proposals aim to transform the volunteering landscape for young people, delivering a step-change in the diversity, quality and quantity of opportunities available.

The Government has set aside a total of £50 million over three years to support the initiative, which means that donations from private sector sources such as the BAA Communities Trust will be matched pound for pound.

In the first year of the partnership BAA Communities Trust will commit £150,000 to international development charity VSO to develop Global Xchange, a six month programme which gives young people from different countries a unique opportunity to work together as volunteers in local communities both in England and overseas.

The Trust has agreed in principle to set aside £150,000 a year for a further two years to enable support for youth volunteering programmes – working with the Russell Commission charity to identify innovative schemes to attract match-funding.

Said Trust Chairman Mike Toms: “The BAA Communities Trust has always had a key focus on creating opportunities for young people – especially in the communities on which our business has an impact. A partnership with the Russell Commission enables us to unlock extra money and create new ways for young volunteers to help their communities, for example through VSO Global Xchange …. and at the same time develop valuable skills for themselves.”

Since the Trust was set up 10 years ago it has made grants of more than £3 million for projects in the communities local to BAA’s seven airports, for charitable initiatives put forward by staff and to global projects linked to youth development.

Its main source of funding is BAA plc, which donates 0.15 per cent of pre tax profits each year to charitable causes. Money also comes from donations from passengers and other fundraising initiatives. In the past year it has distributed grants of nearly £800,00.

Notes to Editors:

The Russell Commission was established in May 2004 by the Home Secretary and Chancellor of the Exchequer to consult on and develop a new national framework for youth action and engagement. The Commission, led by Ian Russell, previously Chief Executive of Scottish Power, reported in March 2005 with a headline recommendation to create a new charity to bring together young people, business, the voluntary and community sector and government to make volunteering a valued part of young people’s lives.

The Government has accepted the Commission’s recommendations.

For more information:

The VSO GlobalXchange programme brings together young people from different cultures to make a practical contribution to local communities and promote active global citizenship.

For each programme 18 young people, between 18 and 25 years old, join an exchange team - 9 from across the UK and 9 from an overseas exchange country. They live and work together in counterpart pairs, living in host families in the community and volunteering with Community Based Organisations. They spend 3 months in a UK community and 3 months overseas.

GlobalXchange works in communities where there is ethnic diversity or a need for greater cultural understanding. For more information:


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