Volunteering bug is over, says CUF

by
09 November 2012

By a staff reporter

Festive food: Pirton Hill Primary School, in Luton, hosted a "Faith, Food and Fun" event last month, funded by the the Church Urban Fund

Festive food: Pirton Hill Primary School, in Luton, hosted a "Faith, Food and Fun" event last month, funded by the the Church Urban Fund

THE craze for volunteering, sparked by the Olympic Games this summer, is over already, the Church Urban Fund (CUF) has warned, as it published a new survey.

The charity said that the Olympic and Paralympic Games had given a huge but temporary boost to volunteering, but its own research has suggested tha,t now the Games were over, so was people's volunteering spirit.

About 70,000 people volunteered this summer help out at the Games, from a totawl of 250,000 applicants. The Gamesmakers were praised by Lord Coe at the closing ceremony of the Games, and they drew the biggest ovation of the night.

The chairman of trustees at the CUF, Paul Hackwood, said: "For four weeks this summer, the whole country seemed to catch the volunteering bug. Even those of us who weren't able to get involved were proud of our friends and colleagues who made the Games such a success. It will be a bitter disappointment if the legacy of the Games does not inspire the generation of volunteers we need to tackle our social problems."

CUF commissioned Ipsos MORI to carry out the survey, The Volunteering Gap, better to understand volunteering in England, after the scrapping of the Government's national volunteering survey. It questioned 2000 people over the age of 15, and found that only a third of people volunteered at all, and just 17 per cent offered time to volunteer for charities or community groups.

People living in the north of England were found to be more likely to volunteer to help those who were socially disadvantaged - 19 per cent - compared with just four per cent of people in London, and 12 per cent in the south.

Among those volunteering up to 20 hours a month, the survey found, there were slightly more volunteers who said that they were active members of a religion than who said that they did not practise any religion at all. But, among those volunteering for more than 30 hours a month, there was no difference in religious affiliation, the survey said.

Mr Hackwood said: "Our findings expose a worrying lack of English volunteers for UK charities. Projects Church Urban Fund work with tell us every day that they're held back because they can't find enough people who want to work with the disadvantaged."

 

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