Veterinary charity finds a way to attract more men

Georgina Lock

The number of men volunteering for PDSA has doubled since 2000, when the veterinary charity changed its volunteer recruitment strategy to target men as well as women. Overall numbers have increased as well: the charity now has 4,700 volunteers, including 1,000 men.

Research by the charity showed that men do not look for volunteer work in the same way as women. Janet Compton, head of volunteering at PDSA, said: "Men respond well to volunteering opportunities that are task-driven."

So rather than asking for a shop volunteer for a Saturday, the charity tried to attract men by saying they needed a book specialist or someone to sort CDs. Compton added: "Rather than a plea for general help, we made the roles more specific."

The rise can also be attributed to more referrals from schemes such as the Government's New Deal initiative.

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