More than half of England's volunteer centres report cuts this year

Justin Davis Smith of Volunteering England says research suggests that funding does not match the rhetoric

Justin Davis Smith
Justin Davis Smith

More than half of volunteer centres in England that receive funding from local government have had it cut for the current year, according to a survey by Volunteering England, Navca and the Institute for Volunteering Research.

The survey, carried out last month, found that 86 per cent of the 178 respondents received funding from local government for volunteering services.

Of those, 52 per cent reported that their funding had been cut compared from the levels of the previous year. The average amount lost was about 25 per cent, researchers found, and the median amount was 20 per cent. The largest cut in funding was 80 per cent.

Of the remainder, 42 per cent received the same amount, and 5 per cent reported an increase.

Justin Davis Smith, chief executive of Volunteering England, said: "This is further evidence that the funding does not match the rhetoric at a time when volunteering is higher than ever on the political agenda.

"Even though the majority of volunteer centres are introducing new revenue-raising activities to ensure they are sustainable, they face an increasingly difficult challenge to meet the public and political demand for their services."

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