Citizenship 'brainstorm' aims to encourage volunteers

 

The Government will today launch a public "brainstorming" process on citizenship issues in a bid to encourage more volunteerism in society.

The Taskforce on Active Citizenship was launched earlier this year to urge more people to get involved in local sporting, social and cultural activities in their communities.

Now a Public Consultation on Active Citizenship will distribute a questionnaire to seek ideas on several topics from the general population.

The questionnaire features 19 questions such as "For you, what does it mean to be an active citizen?" and "Do you feel strongly part of a community — location, parish, sports association, language/cultural group, trade union or corporate interest etc?"

Mary Davis, chair of the Taskforce on Active Citizenship, said time is the most difficult thing for people to give in today's society.

"Pressures of time, changing values and modern lifestyles have contributed to a sense that is it harder to be an active citizen in Ireland today", she said.

"Every day across Ireland people selflessly contribute their time and expertise in the local sports club, helping out a neighbour or assisting in various different ways in their communities", she said.

"Taking part, in whatever way possible, makes a difference. Working together to sustain a healthy and vibrant society is what active citizenship is all about."

The questionnaire will be widely distributed and is also available on www.activecitzen.ie.

It seeks views on how to improve quality of life, empower marginalised groups in their communities and integrate new immigrants.

The questionnaire also asks what can be done to encourage more people, especially the young, to vote in elections.

The closing date for questionnaires is September 29.

PA