New report reveals real value of volunteering

An independent report today illustrates how volunteers contribute millions of pounds worth of hidden time, commitment and energy to the charity sector every year.

The research, conducted across 160 of Action for Children’s children’s centres by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) and Office for Public Management (OPM), estimates that the total value of volunteers to this one charity alone is almost £1,183,000.

Action for Children’s Maureen Nuttall comments:

“As well as supporting the charity sector, our volunteers are invaluable in their support to the UK’s most vulnerable and neglected children. Seeing the facts summed up like this reiterates the need to invest in our volunteers - to ensure they get just as much out of their experience as they put in.”

The report clarifies that the most common motivation for volunteering is the desire to give something back. Staff who work in Action for Children’s children’s centres highlighted the far-reaching value of volunteering; with approximately half citing that the most important impact volunteers make is as role models to their wider community.

Sir Stuart Etherington, Chief Executive of The National Council for Voluntary Organisations, said:

“This research highlights the valuable contribution and vast experience of volunteers. Charities, including Action for Children, offer myriad opportunities for people to gain skills and make a difference. However, as this report shows, volunteering is not a free resource; it requires investment and structure to ensure that everyone has access to worthwhile and enjoyable experiences and is properly supported.”

Notes to Editors

The research was conducted last month (May 2012) across Action for Children’s children’s centres in England by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) and Office for Public Management (OPM)

Action for Children is a national charity delivering services that respond to the local needs of children, young people, their families and communities. Action for Children supports and speaks out for the most vulnerable and neglected children and young people, from as early as possible and for as long as it takes to make a difference in their lives. For more information on our work, please visit the Action for Children website.

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) is the umbrella body for the voluntary sector in England, with sister councils in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. NCVO has over 8,300 members, ranging from large national bodies to community groups, volunteer centres, and development agencies working at a local level. With over 280,000 staff and over 13 million volunteers working for our members, we represent and support almost half the voluntary sector workforce.

Office of Public Management (OPM) is a public interest company dedicated to improving social results. Working with clients across public services and the voluntary and community sectors, we help organisations to make a greater social impact and respond to change. For more information on our work, please visit the Office of Public Management website.

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