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What do volunteers do?

What are the most popular sectors for volunteering?

Volunteers are involved in a range of sectors.

In 2008/09 the most popular sectors for formal volunteers were: 

  1. sport /exercise (53%)
  2. hobbies, recreation/arts/ social clubs (42%)
  3. religion (36%)
  4. children’s education/schools (34%)
  5. youth children’s activities (outside school) (32%)
  6. health, disability and social welfare (25%)
  7. local community or neighbourhood groups (24%)
  8. the environment, animals (20%)


Source: 2008/09 DCLG Citizenship Survey (PDF, 1.92MB)

What are the most popular activities for volunteering?

Volunteers carryout a range of activities in their roles.

In 2008/09 the most popular activities for formal volunteers were:

  1. organising or helping to run an event (55%)
  2. raising or handling money/ taking part in sponsored events (52%)
  3. leading the group / member of committee (37%)
  4. providing transport / driving (26%)
  5. giving information / advice/counselling (24%)
  6. visiting people (24%)
  7. secretarial, clerical or admin work (23%)
  8. befriending or mentoring people (21%)

Source: 2008/09 DCLG Citizenship Survey (PDF, 1.92MB)

Read the blog post ‘What volunteers do’ by Joni Browne

Our research in this area

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