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Press Release: 2022 Scottish Household Survey Results

For Immediate Release

Worrying Decline in Volunteer Participation

Volunteer Scotland are concerned by the latest Scottish Household Survey results for 2022 which show a significant decline in volunteer participation. 22% of Scotland’s adult population volunteered for an organisation or group in 2022, a four percentage point decline compared with 2019. 

Research published by Volunteer Scotland over the past 18 months has indicated that people’s capacity to volunteer has been affected by the Covid -19 pandemic and the cost of living crisis. These events have impacted on people’s mental wellbeing, making it more difficult to prioritise volunteering. People are also experiencing practical barriers to volunteering such as rising travel costs and the need to work longer hours. 

In 2018, it was estimated that volunteering is worth £5.5 billion to Scotland’s economy. Any significant decline in volunteer participation will add considerable pressure to the public purse at a time when the purse strings are particularly tight. 

In response to these findings Alan Stevenson, CEO of Volunteer Scotland, said: 

‘These latest SHS results are concerning, but not surprising. The potential implications of a significant decline in volunteering for Scottish communities are considerable. We must invest in Scotland’s Volunteering Action Plan, particularly those actions which promote inclusive and lifelong volunteer participation, to try and reverse this decline’. 

Volunteers are essential for ensuring Scotland’s communities function and thrive. They are often on the frontline of the response to the cost of living crisis through foodbanks or advice services for example. Volunteers support activity responding to the climate crisis, both during weather emergencies and in proactive efforts to limit the effects of climate change. They also support Scotland’s public services, giving their time in NHS settings, supporting education or in the provision of care or respite services. 

About Volunteer Scotland:

Volunteer Scotland is Scotland’s national centre for volunteering. We believe that volunteering should be an enjoyable, rewarding and fulfilling experience for the volunteer. We also believe that volunteers have the right to be safe and protected in delivering their volunteering roles, and that anybody should be encouraged and supported to volunteer.

Further questions/Comments:

Email hello@volunteerscotland.org or call on 01786 479593

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