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It is estimated that a staggering 500,000 people in Wales are involved in formal volunteering with organisations and around 1.8 million people if this is widened to include informal volunteering. Volunteers help organisations to achieve their aims bringing new skills and add a new dimension to the work of the third sector.

The definition of volunteering used by the Welsh Government is:
'Volunteering is an important expression of citizenship and is an essential component of democracy. It is the commitment of time and energy for the benefit of society and the community and can take many forms. It is undertaken freely and by choice, without concern for financial gain' (Voluntary Sector Scheme, 2000)

The third sector offers opportunities to increase the number and diversity of people who volunteer, including trustees, in ways which benefit the individual, organisations and the community.