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Time Well Spent: volunteering is here to stay!

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations has produced a fascinating YouGov report - Time Well Spent 2023 - documenting the health of volunteering in the UK. Re-running a piece of research first conducted in 2018 (ie pre-Covid), the survey captures the national picture as the country emerged from the pandemic at the end of 2022.


Findings of the report include:

  • the motivation of volunteers remains the same: people want to make a difference

  • the vast majority who had volunteered (92%) say that they are satisfied or very satisfied with their experience - marginally lower than in 2018 (96%)

  • a slight decline in the proportion of the UK population who regularly volunteered: from 23% in 2019/20 to 16 %

  • challenges remain to ensure that volunteering provides equitable, diverse and inclusive opportunities

  • volunteering has evolved to include opportunities to participate virtually as well as face to face

  • time and expense, especially given the cost of living crisis, are barriers to volunteering

  • volunteers would like greater flexibility - more accessible, virtual volunteering opportunities are likely to attract new volunteers

The NCVO report provides invaluable insight into the experience of volunteers at a time when, in the light of The Big Help Out initiative created to support the King's coronation, national interest in volunteering is high.


It's clear - and unsurprising - that Covid has had a profound impact on volunteers, who have seemingly got out of the habit of volunteering. But there are many positives to take from the data not least the high levels of satisfaction expressed by volunteers and also the reasons why people volunteer in the first place: to improve the fabric of society.

The conclusions of Time Well Spent are those we readily take on board as we listen to our Members' feedback and evolve over the coming years.


In many ways the Report accords with CMPP's own experience over the past four years:

  • the appetite for volunteering by our Members' staff remains keen

  • the motivation to get involved is to make a difference to the community

  • Members tell us that they would like more opportunities for virtual volunteering - for more flexible opportunities to engage staff.

During lockdown, this was the primary reason why we created the Speakers for Schools Programme, enabling volunteers to do so from their desks.

  • the vast majority of our volunteers are enthusiastic, uplifted and delighted to have been involved: extremely high levels of satisfaction

At CMPP we will continue to refine what we do and adapt our offer for Members to ensure that we remain a central part of corporate volunteering plans. Volunteering is clearly here to stay in Rushmoor and Surrey Heath and CMPP will continue to deliver high quality, professionally managed services for the benefit of businesses and our community.


The full NVCO Report, Time Well Spent 2023, can be read here: Key findings from Time Well Spent 2023 | NCVO.



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