London has been crowned European Volunteering Capital 2016, following a successful bid led by Team London and Greater London Volunteering which was delivered to the European Volunteer Centre (CEV).
The CEV is the network of over 80 national, regional and local volunteer centres and volunteer support agencies across Europe. For 20 years CEV has promoted and supported volunteering through advocacy, knowledge sharing and capacity building and training.
Competing against 10 other cities, also recognised for their outstanding contribution to the volunteering, London won for its innovative programmes and the continuation of the volunteering legacy from the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Boris Johnson expressed his pride at London securing the accolade, saying:
“I’m very proud that London has been recognised as the top volunteering city in Europe. Tens of thousands of Londoners are now giving a hand to others and helping to make London a cleaner, greener and more welcoming place for everyone. Team London has created an incredible volunteering legacy for the capital, with people of all ages and backgrounds giving up their time to make the city an even better place to live in.”
Director of the European Volunteer Centre, Gabriella Civico said:
“London’s volunteering legacy will continue to thrive in 2016 as European Volunteering Capital. The city is an outstanding example of how local government, local people and businesses can strategically harness the benefits of volunteering to improve people’s lives, the environment and contribute to socially cohesive communities. Congratulations on becoming the European Volunteering Capital!”
Team London had thanked Greater London Volunteering, local volunteer centres (that’s us!), and most importantly, all of London’s fantastic and truly inspirational volunteers, for helping London secure this title. The team would also like to recognise the cities who were shortlisted for the award, Belfast, Bruges, Cagliari, Cascais, Edinburgh, Lucca, Perm, Rome, Varese and Viterbo, as they are indicative of the global impact of volunteering and are hugely important to Europe’s volunteering movement.