Pandemic halved volunteering among young people, official figures show

Official figures have revealed that formal regular volunteering, such as supporting a local club or charity at least one a month, slumped dramatically among young people during the Covid pandemic.

The average number of hours volunteered by 25- to 34-year-olds during 2020/21 fell by 50%, compared to the previous year.

A similar fall, of 47%, was recorded in the average number of hours given to good causes by 16- to 24-year-olds.

Meanwhile, average volunteering hours dropped by 44% among 35- to 49-year-olds.

In comparison the fall in volunteering hours amid the health crisis was less stark among older volunteers.

Among 50- to 64-year-olds the fall was just 15% and among 65- to 74-year-olds the decrease was only 3%.

The figures have been revealed in the latest update from the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS)’s Community Life Survey.

This also found that the number of hours volunteered by all people who volunteered at last once in month in England fell by 40% amid the pandemic from 1.2bn hours to 700,000.

In November last year charities minister Nigel Huddleston said he wanted to boost the role of volunteering in young people’s lives.

Also last year a study on Covid-19’s impact on charities, carried out by academics and the NCVO, called on charities to offer more digital volunteering opportunities to attract a wider pool of people to give up their time for charity work.

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