October 26 - The Trades Union Congress (TUC) is campaigning for a new bank holiday to be introduced in 2012 to celebrate London hosting the Olympics and Paralympics, which coincide with the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.


Communities across the UK are set to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee in May 2012 while the London Olympics and Paralympics in July and August will depend on their 70,000 volunteers.


A new Bank Holiday in late October would be the perfect opportunity to recognise and celebrate the nation's volunteering efforts, says a coalition of organisations backing the Community Day.


The coalition includes the TUC, the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO), Community Service Volunteers (CSV), Volunteering England and the National Association for Voluntary and Community Action (NAVCA).


The coalition would like to see a new bank holiday in late October to break the four- month gap between the August and Christmas bank holidays - the longest gap between public holidays in the calendar.


Britain currently has eight bank holidays a year, compared with an European Union average of 10.9 days.


Only Romania has fewer bank holidays.


TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: "Communities across the UK have been hit hard by the recession.


"When times are tough, people look to their friends, family and local communities for support.


"Millions of people support their local communities every week in some way or other and this work should be properly recognised and encouraged.


"With the Diamond Jubilee and the London Olympics to look forward to, 2012 is set to be a vintage year for volunteering.


"A new Community Day bank holiday would be the perfect way to celebrate the nation's achievements and encourage more people to volunteer."