Sharp rise in volunteering applications

Volunteering organisation YouthNet attributes increase to the recession and changing attitudes

A volunteering charity  recorded a 115 per cent increase in  applications to volunteer  last year, it revealed yesterday.

YouthNet attributed the sharp increase in applications – from 26,185 in 2007 to 60,621 in 2008 – to the economic downturn and new attitudes to volunteering.

"This is an unprecedented increase in numbers, and a sign that volunteering is becoming more accessible and attitudes are changing," said Fiona Dawe, chief executive of YouthNet.

"More and more people are recognising volunteering as a valuable way to build on skills and improve chances in a turbulent job market, which is also good news for charities and organisations that will depend further upon volunteers during the recession."

YouthNet, which operates exclusively online, calculated the figure from the number of applications through its website www.do-it.org, which lists one million volunteering opportunities.

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