More than half of people who do not volunteer say that work commitments are the main reason they have never helped a charity, according to data from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport.
Further information released this week from last month’s Community Life Survey 2016/17 reveals that 52 per cent of people who had never formally volunteered said work commitments prevented them from doing so.
The Community Life Survey is an annual survey of adults aged 16 or over about their levels of community cohesion and engagement.
This year’s survey found that the proportion of people who said they volunteered fell over the past three years.
The second most popular reason for not volunteering among respondents to the survey was that the person did "other things with my spare time", with 35 per cent citing it as a barrier to volunteering.
Childcare or looking after the home accounted for 26 per cent of respondents, and 8 per cent said they had to look after someone elderly or ill.
Studying was a reason for not volunteering among 11 per cent of respondents to the survey, and 11 per cent said that they had an illness or disability that stopped them from volunteering.
A significant proportion of respondents said they did not volunteer because of a lack of knowledge about groups or opportunities to volunteer, each accounting for one in eight of respondents.
Being new to an area was the reason for not volunteering cited by 6 per cent of respondents, and 17 per cent said they had not thought about volunteering.
Three per cent said they felt volunteering was not their responsibility and 7 per cent said they felt they were not of the right age, the data shows.
The results are based on the responses of 7,513 people who responded to the survey and said they had never formally volunteered.