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Bank holiday in October would boost worried workers

The TUC and leading voluntary organisations are calling for a new bank holiday in October to cheer up stressed out workers.

The coalition, which includes the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) and Community Service Volunteers (CSV) and Volunteering England, believes an extra day off between August and December will allow parents to spend a half-term day with their children. It would also allow staff to wish to volunteer to help out community projects.

TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: "Announcing a new bank holiday would cheer up workers across the UK worried about the recession and their jobs."

The proposed Community Day could come into effect in 2010 when commentators predict the economy will be on the road to recovery. The extra holiday could be worth £500 million to the voluntary sector and could give a boost to the ailing leisure and service sectors.

Dame Elisabeth Hoodless, chief executive of CSV, said: "Our research shows the powerful effect volunteering can play in reducing stress and improving health. Volunteering re-energises workers at all levels and improves skills of communication, team-building and problem-solving."