Vanishing volunteers: Are young people losing interest in volunteering? VAJ 1998 (vol 1, number 1)
This is a report of an investigation into whether young people aged 16to 24 are losing interest in volunteering: the 1997 National Survey of Volunteering suggests that their level of involvement is down by about 10 per cent since 1991. Although young people are aware of thepotential benefits of volunteering – for example, how it can broaden their experience and teach them new skills – they feel it has an ‘imageproblem’. They also encounter major barriers to involvement, includinglack of time, lack of information and lack of ‘gatekeepers’. A solution is proposed in the form of the acronym FLEXIVOL: Flexibility, Legitimacy,Ease of access,Xperience, Incentives, Variety, Organisation and Laughs. Instead of attempting to make young people fit into existing volunteering, we should reshape volunteering to accommodate them.