Search For Volunteering Opportunities

The Big Help Out: The Statistics Behind The Campaign

Search for Volunteering Opportunities

New opportunities added daily. Powered by Be Collective.

The Big Help Out: The Statistics Behind The Campaign

by Denise Hayward, Chief Executive, Volunteer Now

Volunteering was to the fore as a theme during the celebrations for the Coronation of King Charles earlier this month.  The publicity surround the Big Help Out helped to shine a light on the vital role that volunteers are playing every day in our communities.  Over the past few weeks, I have met dozens of volunteers and staff from voluntary and community sector organisations at a range of events.  It is always wonderful to hear the stories of friendship and the impact of volunteering!

However, it is also the case that the stories I have heard underpin the statistical evidence which drove the creation of the Big Help Out.  Volunteering has declined.

In Northern Ireland NISRA are reporting a drop from 28% of adults volunteering in the previous 12 months to 17%.  While the report says that it is difficult to make comparisons with previous years, other data are showing a similar trend.

Time Well Spent, a report by NCVO with a GB sample (n=10,000) that does not include Northern Ireland, shows a 50% drop in volunteering in some roles, specifically:

  • those raising money or taking part in sponsored events (down from 11% to 6%),
  • those organising or helping to run an activity (down from 14% to 7%),
  • those campaigning on behalf of the group, club or organisation (down from 8% to 4%)


Volunteer Scotland produced a report this week looking at youth volunteering trends in Scotland.  Again, this showed a marked decline in volunteering participation between 2019-2022:

  • formal volunteering – down 12 percentage points from 48% to 37%,
  • informal volunteering – down 7 percentage points from 25% to 18%


Further Northern Ireland data is expected later this year which will hopefully provide greater insights into the anecdotal trends we are seeing locally.

However, as we move towards Volunteers’ Week, there has never been a more important time to thank and recognise existing volunteers!  For more details about Volunteers’ Week, click here.

By continuing to browse or by clicking “Accept All Cookies,” you agree to the storing of first and third-party cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyse site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts. Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions