Satellite television viewers in the UK will be able to donate their time with little more than the touch of a button using a new interactive TV service on the Community Channel. The service was launched by James Murdoch, chief executive of BSkyB.

“It’s amazing to see how interactive television can be used to help people get involved in their communities,” said the James Murdoch at a launch event at BAFTA in London.

Created to mark the Year of the Volunteer, the interactive service enables viewers of the Community Channel to press the red button on their remote control and search for volunteering opportunities by simply entering their post code.

Interactive TV company Press Red developed the service. Funding was provided by a government grant from the Home Office.

The Community Channel is owned by the Media Trust, which includes the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, BSkyB and other broadcasters and publishers as members. BBC Broadcast provides playout facilities for the channel while BSkyB inserts the interactive application.

Early this year the Community Channel raised over a million pounds for a tsunami appeal through their interactive service, teaming up with other broadcasters, including Sky News, BBC1 and Channel 4.