Youth volunteering levels remain flat 23/04/08

Despite increased government investment, levels of youth volunteering remained broadly flat between March 2006 and November 2007, with 17-25 year olds as the age group most regularly engaged with charities, according to a new study.

Think tank nfpSynergy’s Youth Engagement Monitor also found that 17-19 year old females were the most likely to volunteer, with 11-16 year olds the least likely to engage with charities, possibly said nfpSynergy, due to exam pressures. Youth volunteering also appears to have seasonal fluctuations, with significantly higher volunteering numbers in the three month run-up to autumn than there are in the three months running up to spring.

nfpSynergy’s Joe Saxton said the figures would make disappointing reading for both government and the third sector. “Whatever money, resources and efforts have been targeted at young people, to try to engage them more with charities and volunteering – and though still early days – there is as yet little clear sign of such strategies bearing fruit,” he said. “Volunteering schemes need to start where young people are at, with what they want to do – ensuring they can volunteer in the way that best meets their needs – not least by offering campaigning and fundraising, as well as community service, opportunities.”

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