LONDON, June 3, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
Vitalise survey reveals surprising benefits of volunteering
The 'Big Society' concept is being embraced by young people, according to a new survey by national disability charity Vitalise.
Despite a steady decline in volunteer numbers in the UK since 2005, the post-Olympics feel good factor has seen a sharp rise. New research, released today by Vitalise to mark National Volunteers' Week, has discovered that young volunteers are leading the way when it comes to improving themselves - and society.
The survey highlighted the challenges faced by younger people in getting a foothold in the world of work. Over half the 16-25 year-olds surveyed were unemployed, compared with less than a quarter of 26-45 year-olds. For a fifth of 16-25 year-olds, volunteering with Vitalise had been their only experience of a work environment to date.
However, the younger volunteers not in work remained upbeat: 84% of the 16-25 year-olds believed that volunteering had improved their prospects of getting paid work.
Of the 16-25 year-olds now in work, nearly half said that volunteering had helped them gain paid employment and 80% believed that volunteering had improved their prospects of career advancement.
Vitalise runs the largest residential volunteer programme of any UK charity. Each year over 2,000 volunteers give over 4,000 weeks of their time to live and work at the charity's three UK respite centres supporting people with disabilities and carers taking breaks with the charity.
Across all ages, the personal benefits of volunteering were striking. Over 99% of the respondents said that volunteering for Vitalise had improved their understanding and attitude towards people with disabilities, with 84% saying it had that improved their understanding and attitude towards diverse nationalities and cultures. Over 90% said that they felt more confident and well-rounded as a result of volunteering.
When it comes to improving society, the motivational effect of volunteering was also clear: eight out of ten of the volunteers surveyed said that volunteering had inspired them to play a greater part in society and get more involved in their local communities.
- The online survey of current and former Vitalise volunteers was conducted from 14-21 May. Full survey results are available on request
- For more information about volunteering call +44-(0)303-303-0147, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.vitalise.org.uk