Portsmouth opens its doors to the spirit of volunteerism

Portsmouth & Southsea railway station by Andy Cooper

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COUNCIL cabinet members have thrown their weight behind a scheme to make Portsmouth a City of Service.

At a meeting yesterday, Portsmouth City Council cabinet members agreed the plan would showcase the impact volunteers can have in meeting some of the city’s most pressing challenges.

It was announced last month that Portsmouth would receive £150,000 for the City of Service scheme, which would be used to support volunteering programmes.

The scheme was started in New York by former mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Other Cities of Service include London and Madrid, and Portsmouth is one of seven English cities which have won funding to join their ranks.

Support will come from the Cabinet Office and Nesta, a charity that promotes innovation across the UK.

Janet Maxwell, the council’s director of public health, said: ‘It’s a city-wide initiative to try and get more residents involved in being more integrated within the communities where they live.

‘It could help people feel safer and more connected with their neighbours.’

Over the next few months, Portsmouth will develop its final City of Service plan for the launch in the summer.