Drop in volunteering hours could affect local charities

Drop in volunteering hours could affect local charities

Despite the number of volunteers staying the same, the number of hours being given to volunteering has dropped says a new report from Community Impact Bucks.

This startling fact could have a negative impact on the eight out of ten people in Bucks who used the support of a charity in the last twelve months.

The ‘State of the Sector Report 2017’ shows that Bucks is home to around 2,500 registered charities and a further 1,800 unregistered community groups. Although they have an estimated total income of just under £1 billion, half of our local charities have a turnover of less than £25,000 and have fifteen volunteers for every paid member of staff. It is these small charities who often have the biggest local focus.

The report estimates that around 175,000 adults in Bucks volunteer at least once a year with about two-thirds of these volunteering at least once a month. Yet the number of hours is falling with anecdotal evidence suggesting that caring responsibilities and economic need are putting pressure on the hours available for volunteering.

Nick Phillips, chief executive of Community Impact Bucks said, “Most of us rely on our local charities at one time or another. We have an ageing population, increased loneliness and isolation, high levels of youth mental health issues and rising homelessness. It should, and will, matter to us what happens to local charities. Voluntary unpaid contributions to charities are worth about £225 million across Buckinghamshire and charities are likely to see the impact of the decrease in volunteering hours putting additional pressure on their already stretched services.”

Volunteering roles across Buckinghamshire are varied and plentiful. To find out what is available visit www.volunteeringbucks.org.uk

The ‘State of the Sector Report 2017’ is available to download.