Volunteering in 2019 more important than ever


Ever since NCVO* published their January 2019 report on the volunteering experience, Time Well Spent (1), we have been eagerly citing statistics to those around us.

An informative remark at the desk: “Sorry, can I just stop you, did you know 2 in 3 recent volunteers say they are always or often with others when they volunteer?”

A casual comment in the printing room: “You know, 93% of volunteers say they enjoy their volunteering. Print that off!”

A loud statement at the supermarket check out: “Unexpected item? I’ll tell you what wasn’t unexpected: NCVO’s Time Well Spent report showed that 89% of recent volunteers meet new people through their volunteering”.

Now that the dust has settled on the report, and we find ourselves inexplicably in June already, we think we’ve settled on our favourite statistic from the report: 68% of recent volunteers agree their volunteering helps them feel less isolated. This is highest among younger volunteers: 77% of 18 - 24s and 76% of 25 - 34s.

Isolation is a growing problem in modern Britain, particularly among younger people. A study from the Co-Op and the British Red Cross (2) found that those aged 16-24 were the most likely to express feelings of loneliness.

Isolation and loneliness can also have extreme wider implications – a 2018 study by Matthews et al on lonely young adults in modern Britain (3) concluded that “Young adults' experience of loneliness co-occurs with a diverse range of problems, with potential implications for health in later life”.

In 2019, volunteering appears to be more important than ever. Not only are the causes of organisations that need volunteers often growing in importance but the positive impact that getting involved can have on the volunteers themselves is huge - and cannot be ignored.

One final statistic from NCVO’s report: Among those who have never volunteered, one of the most frequently cited reasons for not getting involved is that they have never thought about it (19%).

This comes with a challenge – think if there’s anyone in your life who has never volunteered, can you think of any who might benefit themselves from getting involved? Volunteering is impactful, fun and a great way to meet new people. For many, the perfect volunteer opportunity is out there. Perhaps they’ve never even thought to look.

Find out more

If you would like to find out more about our volunteering opportunities, visit the volunteering section of our website or contact us via or call: 020 8834 9218.

* NCVO is a membership organisation that promotes the voluntary sector and volunteering.


  1. NCVO report: Time Well spent (January 2019)
  2. Co-op and British Red Cross research: Trapped in a bubble (2016)
  3. Timothy Mathews et al: Lonely young adults in modern Britain: findings from an epidemiological cohort study, Psychological Medicine (2018)