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Seven facts about volunteering

  • 12/02/2019

This article is over a year old

Is it time well spent?

Volunteer with older lady

Earlier this year, NCVO produced a report called ‘Time Well Spent’. NCVO are an organisation which champions the voluntary sector and believes that volunteering is essential for a better society.

'Time Well Spent' was the product of a national survey on the volunteer experience. Unlike a lot of research done into volunteering, this piece of research focused on things from the volunteer’s perspective.

If you volunteer or have ever considered doing so, you might take a keen interest in the findings of the report, like we did!

Here are some of the key things that came out of it:


  • 70% of people surveyed had volunteered at some point in their lives and around 40% had volunteered in the last 12 months


  • Of those who never volunteered, one of the most frequently cited reasons for not getting involved is that they ‘have never thought about it’ (19%)


  • Volunteering through employers remains low on people’s radar – only 10% of volunteers give time via employer-supported volunteering


  • For almost all volunteers, volunteering is a positive experience – 96% of volunteers say they are very or fairly satisfied with their volunteering


  • However, there are still frustrations which come up repeatedly. Around 19% feel volunteering is becoming too much like paid work. For those who volunteer at least once a week, this rises to 24%


  • Another telling statistic which indicated where the sector must improve was that disabled volunteers are more likely than non-disabled volunteers to disagree that there is a culture of respect and trust (11% comparted to 6%)


  • Furthermore, diversity in those who volunteer continues to be an issue. The research confirms that those who volunteer at least once a month are more likely to be older, well-educated and from higher socio-economic groups.


Looking at all the data which came out of the report, NCVO concluded that a quality voluntary experience needs a number of key features. Although different contexts mean that some of these elements can be more relevant than others, Time Well Spent found that volunteering should be:

  • Inclusive
  • Connected
  • Voluntary
  • Flexible
  • Balanced
  • Meaningful
  • Impactful
  • Enjoyable

This piece of research – up to date and from the perspective of the volunteer – is an extremely useful resource for us and the entire voluntary sector.

We have an incredible base of volunteers which support the organisation and give a face to the work we do – Turn2us simply couldn’t do what it does without its volunteers.

We want to ensure that all volunteers are supported as well as possible and that we have a wide range of volunteer roles which allow anyone who wants to, to join the fight against UK poverty.

Feel free to take a look at the 'Time Well Spent' report summary or the full report and think about where Turn2us falls into this. If you have any thoughts about the report or even if you just found it interesting and wanted to comment, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at:

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