Volunteers 'deserve more recognition'

Survey finds 57 per cent of British public believe volunteers do not get enough appreciation

More than half of the British public believe that local groups of volunteers do not get the recognition they deserve, a new survey suggests.

The poll, commissioned by the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service, which gives awards to local groups for voluntary work, says that 57 per cent of the 2,041 people surveyed thought the groups were not shown enough appreciation for their work, and 8 per cent thought they were.

The 749 respondents who said they had volunteered in the past year were also asked why they did so. The most popular reason - true for 47 per cent of respondents - was that they gained a "sense of personal achievement and satisfaction". Thirty seven per cent said they did it because they wanted to improve the local community and help people.

The region with the highest proportion of volunteers was Northern Ireland, where 44 per cent of respondents had volunteered in the past 12 months. The area with the highest proportion of people volunteering at least once a week was Scotland, with 23 per cent.

Martyn Lewis, former broadcast journalist and committee chair for the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service main award, said: "There are great rewards to be had from volunteering, whether personal achievement and the development of new skills or a deeper connection with your local community - but it's clear that many believe those who make an effort to benefit others should be recognised publicly."


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