Call for volunteers to fill 150 vacancies in county as part of Volunteers’ Week 2023 celebrations
Recent research has found that 50% of people who do not currently volunteer in Buckinghamshire say they would be more likely to do so if they could volunteer from home or locally. Many local charities and community groups are adapting to this preference and there are now 35 flexible volunteer roles registered with Buckinghamshire Volunteer Matching Service, a free service that helps people across the county find volunteering opportunities that suit them.
Findings from the independent research Volunteering in Buckinghamshire are being shared as part of Volunteers’ Week 2023 (1-7 June 2023), the annual nationwide celebration of volunteers and their contribution to charities and community groups.
Carried out by February 2023, the research asked about the needs and barriers faced by current volunteers, potential volunteers and local volunteer-involving organisations. Key findings include:
- Over three-quarters (78%) of respondents who do not volunteer said not having to sign up to a regular commitment would enable them to volunteer, with 1 in 2 saying volunteering from or near home would help.
- Of the respondents who have not volunteered before, 42% said they didn’t know how to find opportunities, nearly half (44%) said they didn’t have time, and a third (32%) had not found a role that suited their interests.
- 3 out of 4 (75%) of respondents who currently volunteer use existing skills for good causes, with around half of those who volunteer saying they do so for socialising, mental health and/ or they are passionate about the cause.
- 60% of the volunteering organisations which took part in the research offer weekend volunteering roles, 51% had evening volunteering opportunities, and 40% also offered remote roles which could be done from home.
- The majority of volunteers (64%) said they had up to 5 hours per month they could give to volunteering, which is enough for many volunteer roles.
“More and more local charities are offering volunteering opportunities that could fit around people’s other commitments such as work or childcare,” commented Stephanie Thompson, Buckinghamshire Volunteer Matching Service’s lead at Community Impact Bucks. “We hope the research will help to get more people involved and helping out with their local charities and community groups.”
Since March 2020, the Buckinghamshire Volunteer Matching Service has matched over 1800 people in roles ranging from befrienders and mentors, to volunteer-at-home administrator roles and flexible fundraising roles, to one-off marshalling at events. It currently has over 150 volunteer opportunities to be filled including roles that are local or can take place from home, are one-off or ad hoc, or are flexible in terms of time of day/week.
People who are interested in finding out about volunteering in Buckinghamshire should visit the Buckinghamshire Volunteer Matching Service where they can find more information about the service, how to register, and some examples of roles ready to be filled. You can also read about the experiences of local volunteers on the Community Impact Bucks website.
For any media enquiries and volunteer stories, please contact Rachel Fisher or Chanel Smith
E: firstname.lastname@example.org / T: 01844 617216
Notes to editors
- Community Impact Bucks is an independent charity that supports people and groups to get involved and make a difference in Buckinghamshire communities. We offer expert advice and training, help people to find volunteering opportunities, and help charities and not for profit groups to get started, be effective and grow.
- Run by Community Impact Bucks, Buckinghamshire Volunteer Matching Service is a free service that helps people in Buckinghamshire find volunteering opportunities that suit them. Since it was established in March 2020, it has placed over 1800 volunteers in volunteer roles throughout the county.
- A selection of volunteer stories can be found on Community Impact Bucks’ case studies webpage (select I want to volunteer button and Volunteer Matching Service button)
- The Volunteering in Buckinghamshire research was conducted in February 2023 by Laura Elson Consulting Ltd to look into the needs and barriers faced by volunteers, people who don’t volunteer and volunteer involving organisations across Buckinghamshire. This involved delivering surveys (169 participants) and focus groups (18 participants) with the three stakeholder groups. The independent research was carried out on behalf of Community Impact Bucks and Buckinghamshire Health and Social Care Academy. Further information about the research, including findings, can be found in our blog – Volunteering in Buckinghamshire.
- For more information on #VolunteersWeek, visit Volunteers’ Week.