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Community Life Survey results show rise in volunteering

The first quarterly results of the government’s eagerly awaited new survey, the Community Life survey, were published this week and show a significant rise in rates of volunteering since 2010-11: 30% volunteered at least once a month (up from 25%) and 45% volunteered at least once a year (up from 39%).

The figures on volunteering are encouraging and back up what we’ve been hearing from many of you over the last 12 months: that more people are volunteering and interested in taking part. However, we must also be cautious in what we read into these results. The figures are from the period from August to October 2012, rather than a full year. They do show a rise since the previous period, but it’s just not possible to say whether or not this is part of a wider trend in which rates of volunteering are increasing. We’ll only really be able to tell when further results from the survey are published. We also need to be careful when we look at the regional figures and other breakdowns (e.g. age, ethnicity, employment status) as some of these are based on a small numbers of respondents.

Full results of the Community Life survey are available here. The Community Life Survey has replaced the Citizenship Survey, which was cancelled by the government in 2011. The questions on volunteering are comparable between the two surveys.

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