Teenagers more likely to volunteer than adults, study shows

Written by Matt Ritchie

Teenagers are more likely to have participated in charitable activities than adults, according to new data from National Citizen Service.

Published during Volunteers’ Week, the findings show 54 per cent of teenagers have volunteered their time for a charity or local cause, compared to only 34 per cent of adults.

In addition, 16 and 17 year olds are almost twice as likely to have fundraised compared to those aged over 18 (58 per cent compared to 32 per cent).

The research by ICM for NCS found 67 per cent of teenagers would like to volunteer in future, and 64 per cent of 16 and 17 year olds said taking part in activities to help others is important to them.

The research drew on a survey of 1,002 16 and 17 year olds, and 2,000 nationally representative adults.

The findings are supported by recent ONS data showing that young people aged 16 to 24 have increased the time they devote to volunteering, going from being the least to the most active age group in this area over the past 15 years.

The ONS report showed more than 300,000 teenagers have taken part in the NCS since its launch in 2011.

NCS CEO Michael Lynas said the service provides a brilliant way for young people to volunteer. Participants have given over seven million hours of volunteering and raised around £13.5m to date, he said.

“Those who volunteer report a wide range of benefits, including higher levels of wellbeing, a greater sense of social cohesion and improved employability. We’re just three weeks away from tens of thousands more teens departing for their NCS experience – I hope they throw themselves into it, enjoy it, meet great people and discover how they can make a real difference to their communities.”

NCVO's director of public policy and volunteering Karl Wilding said the NCS has made a big difference for lots of young people, helping them take action in their communities and providing them with valuable skills and experience.

“Volunteers’ Week is a great time to celebrate how young people are making a difference and that more young people than ever are getting involved in volunteering,” Wilding said.

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