Youth volunteering static, says survey

The number of young people who volunteer remained largely static between 2006 and 2007, according to research released today by sector think tank nfpSynergy.

The Youth Engagement Monitor is a survey of more than 1,000 people aged between 11 and 25 that has been carried out twice a year since March 2006. Results from November 2007 show that 18 per cent of respondents had volunteered in the past three months. The figure for November 2006 was 19 per cent.

The proportion who said they were involved regularly with charities fell from 14 per cent in November 2006 to 12 per cent in November 2007.

"The figures will make disappointing reading for both the Government and the third sector," said Joe Saxton, co-founder of nfpSynergy. "Money, resources and effort have been targeted at young people to try to engage them more with charities and volunteering. It is still early days, but there is little clear sign yet of the strategies bearing fruit."

The results suggest that 17 to 25-year-olds are the most regular volunteers. In November 2007, 17 per cent said they were involved regularly with charities, compared with 21 per cent in November 2006. The group most likely to volunteer were women aged between 17 and 19 in socio-economic classes AB and C1. Volunteering rose among 11 to 13-year-olds, but dropped in the 11 to 16 age group.

"Volunteering schemes need to ensure young people can volunteer in the way that best meets their needs, not least by offering campaigning and fundraising as well as community service opportunities," said Saxton.

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