A report examined the impact of volunteering on health. Volunteering could help people live longer and was good for their health and well-being. It also had a positive effect on people's self-esteem; helped to reduce the number of hospital visits; and could help fight depression, stress, and pain.
Source: Rachel Casiday, Eileen Kinsman, Clare Fisher and Clare Bambra, Volunteering and Health: What impact does it really have?, Volunteering England (0845 305 6979)
A report called for employers to place more value on volunteering in their recruitment process, and promote it as an effective tool for staff development. Volunteering could LAO help engage young people who were not in education, employment or training, and provide a route back into training or employment.
Source: Discovering Talent – Developing Skills: The contribution of volunteering, V (020 7960 7000)
A report examined the impact of volunteering in the National Health Service.
Source: Simon Teasdale, Health Check: A practical guide to assessing the impact of volunteering in the NHS, Volunteering England (0845 305 6979)
An article said that in many policy initiatives to combat social exclusion, volunteering was cast as a form of self-improvement and retraining for the workforce. Qualitative research in a disadvantaged community, however, uncovered the persistence of more traditional forms of volunteering associated with mutual support and identification with the needs of others. Policies intended to broaden the base of the volunteer workforce needed to recognize and nurture the intrinsic rewards of volunteering.
Source: Susan Baines and Irene Hardill, '"At least I can do something": the work of volunteering in a community beset by worklessness', Social Policy and Society, Volume 7 Issue 3
A briefing paper examined the real and perceived value of volunteering and giving. Participation in one activity was positively correlated with the other, with active volunteers giving more money than non-volunteers.
Source: Nick Ockenden, Valuing Time and Money: The real and perceived value of volunteering and giving, Institute for Volunteering Research (020 7520 8900)
A briefing paper examined the differences between regular and occasional volunteers. It looked at why, where, and how they volunteered, and it suggested how volunteer-involving organizations and other practitioners could use this information to leverage more support from all volunteers.
Source: Mark Hutin, Regular and Occasional Volunteers: How and why they help out, Institute for Volunteering Research (020 7520 8900)
A briefing paper examined the manner, method, and experiences of engagement in formal volunteering by young people, and why some young people did not volunteer.
Source: Mark Hutin, Young People Help Out: Volunteering and giving among young people, Institute for Volunteering Research (020 7520 8900)
The report of an independent inquiry said that inflexible unemployment benefit rules deterred jobless young people from volunteering. Jobcentres should fully recognize volunteering as a route to work for unemployed young people. It called for a day per year off work to encourage volunteering, and an award scheme to recognize skills gained.
Source: The Morgan Inquiry, Morgan Inquiry, c/o Luther Pendragon (020 7618 9190)
A briefing paper examined the ways in which volunteers were supported and managed. Many did not receive the kinds of support often promoted as good practice in volunteer management.
Source: Joanna Machin and Angela Ellis Paine, Managing for Success: Volunteers' views on their involvement and support, Institute for Volunteering Research (020 7520 8900)
A paper said that groups led by volunteers functioned in ways that could be very different to those found within larger volunteer-involving organizations with paid staff. Such groups could nonetheless be highly effective and fulfil a community need that might not be met elsewhere. However, this did not always happen easily and groups might experience numerous challenges in the process, including the need to guard against becoming exclusive.
Source: Nick Ockenden and Mark Hutin, Volunteering to Lead: A study of leadership in small, volunteer-led groups, Institute for Volunteering Research (020 7520 8900)
A paper said that volunteering in community-based organizations was increasingly being moulded by external factors such as legislation, policy, and funding programmes. The small size of these organizations rendered them vulnerable to policy and funding changes, and restricted their capacity or opportunity to influence wider decisions.
Source: Nick Ockenden and Romayne Hutchison, The Impact of Public Policy on Volunteering in Community-based Organisations, Institute for Volunteering Research (020 7520 8900) and Institute for Voluntary Action Research
A report said that among groups deemed at risk of social exclusion the level of regular formal volunteering in the previous twelve months was 32 per cent, compared to 42 per cent for those not at risk, and 39 per cent for all respondents.
Source: Simon Teasdale, Volunteering among Groups Deemed at Risk of Social Exclusion, Institute for Volunteering Research (020 7520 8900)
A report (by the government's 'volunteering champion') said that service users could make an enormous contribution as volunteers in health and social care. But child protection checks and other barriers were wasting this potential.
Source: Julia Neuberger, Volunteering in the Public Services: Health and Social Care, Cabinet Office (020 7261 8527)
An article examined the monetary value of formal and informal voluntary work. Highly educated people spent more time on formally organized voluntary work: but less well-qualified people, particularly women, spent more time on extra-household unpaid helping activities for friends and relatives.
Source: Muriel Egerton and Killian Mullan, 'Being a pretty good citizen: an analysis and monetary valuation of formal and informal voluntary work by gender and educational attainment', British Journal of Sociology, Volume 59 Issue 1
A report said that an increasing number of employers were realizing the benefits of having an employer-supported volunteering scheme.
Source: Cathy McBain and Joanna Machin, Caring Companies: Engagement in employer-supported volunteering, Institute for Volunteering Research (020 7520 8900)
The government said that it accepted the majority of the recommendations made by an independent commission on the future of volunteering.
Source: Government Response to the Commission on the Future of Volunteering, Cabinet Office (020 7261 8527)
A report said that new volunteers were more motivated by learning new skills or improving their career than their more experienced counterparts. Most newcomers to volunteering were in their 20s and 30s: this needed to be reflected in more imaginative and targeted recruitment methods.
Source: The Changing and Non-changing Faces of Volunteering, Institute for Volunteering Research (020 7520 8900)
A report said that people mostly started volunteering for reasons which were broadly social and practical. The factor which got greatest support was: 'I wanted to improve things, help people' (53 per cent).
Source: Who Gives Time Now? Patterns of participation in volunteering, Institute for Volunteering Research (020 7520 8900)
A report by an independent commission said that 'bureaucratic hurdles' were getting in the way of people volunteering. Criminal Records Bureau checks were probably 'disproportionate in relation to any actual risk'. The government should make a cabinet minister responsible for promoting volunteering.
Source: Manifesto for Change, Commission on the Future of Volunteering (020 7520 8900)
A report examined the level, type, and intensity of volunteering in Scotland based on data gathered through the Scottish Household Survey. The data confirmed that the key groups identified in the Scottish Executive's volunteering strategy (2004) for whom it would be beneficial to encourage a higher level of volunteering were less likely to volunteer than society in general. Within the 15 per cent most deprived areas in Scotland, efforts to promote volunteering should be focused particularly on disabled people, unemployed people, young people, and those lacking in formal qualifications.
Source: Norma Hurley, Lindsay Wilson and Ian Christie, Scottish Household Survey Analytical Report: Volunteering, Scottish Government (web publication only)