Volunteering is getting 'close to saturation point'

The sector will soon no longer be able to accommodate new volunteers and is "approaching saturation point", according to Dame Elisabeth Hoodless, executive director of CSV.

The solution, according to Hoodless, is for the public sector to open its doors to more volunteers, but she claims there is still resistance to the idea.

"If you want to volunteer for Crisis, you have to register by February to volunteer in December," she said. "I know of agencies that have waiting lists of volunteers, and research shows 11 million people would volunteer if they were asked."

But despite studies demonstrating the positive impact volunteers can have in GP surgeries, hospitals and the social services, Hoodless said many people feared volunteers would lead to job cuts.

CSV is working with the Network of National Volunteer Involving Agencies to allay such worries.

Andy Forster, head of policy for Volunteering England, disagreed. "I would like to see the evidence that we are approaching saturation point," he said.

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