Government begins consultation on volunteering and young people

The move is part of a review chaired by Steve Holliday, former chief executive of the National Grid

Young people: what barriers to volunteering exist?
Young people: what barriers to volunteering exist?

The government has launched a review to find out what barriers exist to prevent young people from participating in full-time volunteering.

As part of the review, chaired by Steve Holliday, former chief executive of the National Grid, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has opened a consultation asking what could be done to enable more full-time volunteering and social action.

According to a statement accompanying the consultation, the government defines social action as practical action in the service of others to create positive change, including fundraising, supporting charities, tutoring and mentoring, supporting other people and campaigning.

It defines full-time as, on average, at least 16 hours a week for six months or more.

The review would consider what the voluntary sector, industry and government could do to support full-time volunteering, the statement said.

"The review will gather evidence on the current opportunities available, the current status of full-time volunteers, the impact of full-time social action on young people and their communities, the barriers facing participants and providers, and how the UK compares to other countries’ provision of full-time social action opportunities," the statement said.

According to preliminary research, 3 per cent of young people in England aged between 16 and 25 are involved as full-time volunteers and 8 per cent have been involved in the past.

The main barriers preventing participation were a lack of awareness of opportunities, lack of consideration, financial and time cost, and a lack of opportunities overall, according to the statement.

The consultation asks what experience respondents have of full-time volunteering, what impact it has, what barriers there are, whether there is unmet demand for more volunteering placements and what three things respondents would recommend to support more volunteering.

The consultation will run until 13 October.

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