Few baby boomers choose to volunteer, survey finds

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5th January 2016 10:51 - Voluntary

A recent research report has revealed that the view that older women are most likely to volunteer is a myth, with the findings revealing that Few baby boomers choose to volunteer, survey findsthose aged between 25 and 34 are the most likely to participate in voluntary work.

The survey had been described as ‘damning’, with the findings revealing that 1 in 3 Brits would not be persuaded to volunteer in the community. This percentage increased to 47 per cent within the over 55 age range, as opposed to just 12 per cent of those aged between 18 and 12, leading one to believe that younger people are the group most likely to volunteer their time.

The 25 to 34 age bracket were found to be the demographic who do the majority of the volunteering, with the number of hours spend doing unpaid work being higher amongst that age range. Those aged below 35 said that they spend an average of two hours per week volunteering, as opposed to the over 55s, who claimed to spend just one hour volunteering.

Dan Jones, Director at the innovation charity, Nesta,said that the idea that the baby boomers would not even consider volunteering was a cause for great concern for the charitable sector.

“The voluntary and charitable sector really relies on those over-50s with a bit more time on their hands,”he said. “If people now hitting that age range aren’t going to be helping in their community but just thinking about themselves and going to Alicante, or whatever, we’ve got a challenge ahead.”

He also added that young people tend to see the importance of volunteer work, claiming: “They see it as a win-win: giving back, helping their own CVs and making an impact.”

The market research also revealed that the public, on average, spend one hour 47 minutes volunteering per week, as opposed to 12 hours 40 minutes watching television, three hours travelling and two hours at the gym.

The survey also found that men were more likely to assist an elderly neighbour at a rate of 34 per cent, as opposed to 30 per cent of women.

The respondents of the survey suggested that their perception of the typical volunteer is a female, over the age of 60 and a grandparent.

Jones said: “Earlier surveys showed that about 40% of people volunteered once a year and 25% once a month,

“It’s always been the case that women volunteer more than men so it’s striking to see the swapping over in the trends. Women have always been the backbone of volunteering in the UK.”

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