LOCKDOWN BLOG ‘A’ VOLUNTEER. Part One by Tony. B (SOAR Social Café Volunteer)

When I thought of writing this blog, I asked myself, what is a Blog? How do you write one? Yes, I know its normally online in one way or another, but then there’s also a Vlog which is a filmed version (no thanks, filmed interviews are enough). Well, this is my first ever Blog & it took a while to decide on a title. Who, where, when, all came to mind but this one I thought would encompass everything I might want to say. When you read other blogs and over the last few weeks I’ve read a few, you conclude that it depends on the subject as to how much you write and how many statistics you include. Then again, each time I come to do a bit more editing the thought mode kicks in and you change it or add a bit more. Anyway, I must start the actual blog and let you read the information I’ve come across. 

20.1million people volunteered through a group, club or organisation during 2017/18 (https://data.ncvo.org.uk/volunteering/). When you see that type of figure it makes you think how many are not in that figure, there must be another few 100k. 

It must be highlighted first, what is a volunteer is according to Collins Dictionary (I don’t have an Oxford): A person who freely offers voluntarily to do something. Or to offer (oneself or one’s service) by choice without being forced. For no recompense. 

According to some people, volunteering is for the elderly as they have nothing to do. What a load of bosh!! There are hundreds of younger people volunteering (I started at 16 in the 1960s). When you consider that the vast majority are under 65 it knocks that in the head altogether. (see chart)














Don’t worry I’m not going to go overboard with statistics…much…well a little bit. 




























 Specific terms:

  •   Formal volunteering: giving unpaid help through a group, club or organisation.
  •   Informal volunteering: giving unpaid help as an individual to people who are not a relative
  •   Regular volunteering: people volunteer at least once a month

It is also very interesting that it doesn’t matter which social background you come from, they are very similar. Or as you see below where you live, although I was surprised that there was more in Rural than Urban. Why? 

That’s it, some very interesting information within the above graphs for the period 2017/18 and are from the NVCO website. There’s loads of other stuff but not relevant here and I don’t want you to be too bored. Although these figures look good and show that volunteering is popular, unfortunately over the past decade there has been a downward trend, but no explanation is given. It is advisable to read “Time Well Spent” where it goes into volunteering in depth (https://www.ncvo.org.uk/policy-and-research/volunteering-policy/research/time-well-spent)! That’s all for part one I think there’s enough data for anyone to absorb.