In 2012, the European year for active ageing and solidarity between generations, SOS Malta organised a conference entitled ‘Informal Carers and Volunteering in the Community’.
The aim of the conference was to begin a dialogue between relevant stakeholders within Malta on the need for wider recognition of the role and contribution of informal carers in society, their need for support to carry out their role and the role of the volunteer sector in supporting them. Volunteering in the community can play an major role in improving quality of life and therefore community initiatives must go hand in hand with government policies to reduce the burden on carers’. This emerged from the findings of the research undertaken by SOS Malta on volunteering in the community and presented at the conference.
Approximately 80 participants from different sectors including policy makers and volunteering organisations attended. Among the speakers were Hon. Joe Cassar, Minister for Health, the Elderly and Community Care, Claudia Taylor-East, CEO of SOS Malta, Lorna Muscat, Project Manager, SOS Malta, Nora Macelli Chief Executive of St. Jeanne Antide Foundation and Rob Jackson, Director of Rob Jackson Consulting Ltd. from England. The Anti-Poverty Forum Malta Network participated in a panel discussion where members highlighted the need for participation of persons facing social exclusion in national policies and plans linking it to informal carers and volunteering in the community.