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Interesting Facts About Volunteering

Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart.

Elizabeth Andrew

Annually volunteering was worth over £48 billion in England and Wales. This is the equivalent contribution to the economy made by people involved in their local community based on the national average wage.

Figures from 2005, Home Office Citizenship Survey used in Manifest for change, report from the Commission on Future of Volunteering, p10.

In Leeds the value of volunteering has been estimated to be worth £39.5 million per annum

Figures from "The Ripple Effect: Two Years On" p 19 Leeds VOICE 2009


Leeds has around 120,000 volunteers who volunteer for at least 2 hours per week in a formal setting.


Figures from the Place Survey 2008 

The City Council  benefits from the work of over 5000 volunteers in the School Governors service, Housing and Tenant Associations, Youth Service, Youth Offending Service, Adult Social Care, Library and Information Service, Children’s Services, Parks and Countryside, SportLeeds, Leisure and Environment

Leeds City Council 2009

Over 42,000 students volunteer through organised volunteering programmes at their university or college. Each student volunteer gives on average 82 hours per year to their community, contributing nearly £1,000 per year to the economy.

Neil Fairhurst (2004), The National Survey 2004: Involving Further Education Students in the Community, commissioned by student volunteering team at Volunteering England.


Sport and recreation accounts for 26% of all volunteering in the UK and provides a workforce equivalent to 180,000 fulltime workers.

2005, London Olympics Bid document: Volunteering and health, happiness and skills.

Volunteering is good for you. 63% of 25-34 year olds and 62% of over 65's say volunteering helps them feel less stressed, while 71% of volunteers who offer their professional skills and experience say volunteering helps combat depression. Nearly half of all volunteers say volunteering has improved their physical health and fitness.

2004, ICM Research findings commissioned for CSV (Community Service Volunteers) and Barclays.

Volunteering helps you lead a healthier life. Twenty-two percent of 18 to 24 year olds say volunteering helps them cut down on alcohol and 30% say volunteering helps them smoke less.

2004, ICM Research findings commissioned for CSV and Barclays.

Levels of volunteering relate to levels of happiness. Research published in 2004 indicated that people living in areas with a high level of civic participation were happier with their lives.

2004, Economic and Social Research Council's Democracy and Participation Research Programme.

One survey found that volunteering was the second greatest source of individual joy, behind dancing.

Argylle M (1996), The Social Psychology of Leisure, published by Penguin.

Six out of ten volunteers said volunteering gave them an opportunity to learn new skills.

Davis Smith J (1998), The 1997 National Survey of Volunteering , Volunteering and the economy.

Also same finding in Low, N et al, 2007, Helping Out: A national survey of volunteering and charitable giving. London: Cabinet office of the Third sector.


Volunteers spend an average of 3 working weeks a year giving unpaid help through groups, clubs and organisations. This is the equivalent of around 1 million full-time workers involved in their local communities.

2003, Home Office Citizenship Survey.