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Volunteering and coronavirus: How you can help

National week of celebration to thank the UK’s volunteers

Organisations across the country are holding events to thank volunteers for their dedication and contribution. Volunteers’ Week is an annual celebration of the millions of volunteers who give up their time in the service of others. Events are taking place across the UK from 1–12 June to mark Volunteers’ Week, which this year is running for an extra five days to coincide with the Patron’s Lunch on 12 June.

Click here to view the map of events taking place across the country

NCVO will kick off Volunteers’ Week with the Big Celebration, an event hosted by BT to bring together organisations and parliamentarians to hear volunteers share their experiences, at the BT Tower.

Karl Wilding, director of public policy and volunteering at the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, which coordinates Volunteers’ Week in England, said:

Volunteers’ Week is always a fantastic opportunity for a big celebration of the great work of volunteers across the UK. This year’s longer event, culminating with the Patron’s Lunch on the Mall, will allow even more people to take part in this special thank you to those who give up their time in the service of others.

Millions of volunteers make a huge difference to our society, and our lives would be worse without them. It is great to see that doing good to help other people is alive and well in this country. Whether they are running sports clubs, providing services for those in need or spending time with people at risk of loneliness, the UK’s volunteers are an inspiration for us all and it’s important we recognise them.

Over 14 million people volunteer at least once a month in the UK. Volunteers are involved in diverse range of roles in sports clubs, communities, schools and hospitals across the country, and they are vital to the work of countless charities and organisations.

Last year there were over 750 events organised for Volunteers’ Week, ranging from volunteer recruitment drives, to street parties, barbecues and award ceremonies. In addition to these celebrations, individual volunteers are being encouraged to take to social media to share their volunteering experiences and motivations using the hashtag #ivolunteer.

The end of Volunteers' Week will coincide with The Patron's Lunch on Sunday 12 June, a celebration of Her Majesty the Queen's lifetime of service to more than 600 charities and organisations to which The Queen acts as a Patron, on the occasion of her 90th birthday.


  • To find out more visit and follow #volunteersweek and #ivolunteer on Twitter.
  • Find events happening in your area by visiting the map at Find your local volunteering centre at
  • For more information, regional statistics and interview requests, please contact Kristen Stephenson on 020 7520 3154 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Volunteering facts

  • In 2012–13 volunteering output contributed an estimated £23.9bn to the UK economy. This is equivalent to over 1.5% of GDP (Cabinet Office’s Community Life Survey 2013-14).
  • There are over 160,000 voluntary organisations in the UK, many of whom rely on volunteers (NCVO’s UK Civil Society Almanac 2016).
  • 14.2 million people formally volunteered at least once a month in 2014/15. 42% of people in the UK volunteer formally at least once a year and 27% do so at least once a month (NCVO’s UK Civil Society Almanac 2016).
  • Volunteers’ Week started in 1984, and is now in its 32nd year
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