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5 Fun Facts about Volunteering and Volunteers

5 Fun Facts about Volunteering and Volunteers

May 31, 2016 0 Comments

June 1st marks the start of Volunteers' Week - a celebration of the contribution volunteers make in the UK.

This year it is actually over a week long - finishing 12th June - to make room for the many volunteer events taking place around the country. You can check out a map here.

We'd like to take this opportunity to thank all the volunteers, past and present, who have worked with Listening Books. We're very grateful for all your help!

Volunteers across the UK do so much that we couldn't even begin to document it here. So instead we've opted for sharing with you 5 volunteering facts:

Volunteers in the UK currently contribute an estimated £23.9bn to the UK economy per year. [1]

The use of the verb ‘to volunteer’ was first recorded in 1755. It was derived from the noun ‘volunteer’ meaning "one who offers himself for military service", and came from the Middle French word voluntaire. The first recorded use of the word in a non-military sense was in the 1630s.  [2]

A 2007 ‘Helping Out’ Survey showed the top five benefits from volunteering given by volunteers are: ‘a sense of satisfaction from seeing the results’ (97%), ‘I really enjoy it’ (96%), ‘it gives me a sense of personal achievement’ (88%), ‘meet people and make friends’ (86%), ‘gives me the chance to do things that I am good at’ (83%). [3]

The average (mean) time of volunteering given by regular volunteers each month is 11.6 hours, recorded 2014-15. [4]

A 2014-2015 Government Community Life Survey showed that 69% of people had volunteered formally or informally at least once in the last 12 months. [5]


If you're not already a volunteer and you fancy joining the more than 21 million people volunteering in the UK, the NCVO website gives you a good place to start.

If you'd be interested in volunteering for Listening Books you can find out more here.

And here's a bonus fact for you: the top reason people give for volunteering is because they want to improve things and/or help people [6]. Which means that even though volunteering has all these other great benefits, mainly people just want to help out. That's enough to leave anyone with a warm fuzzy feeling.


This post was written by Holly Newson.

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This week's Friday Favourite is When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit, recommended by Emily!

"I decided I'd read this book after hearing about it in Listening Books' latest podcast episode, and I loved it! Although it's a harrowing refugee story, it's told from the sincere and heartwarming perspective of a child. A beautiful read for people of all ages."

Listen to it here:

#FridayFave #judithkerr #whenhitlerst...olepinkrabbit #refugeestories

[ID: Book cover of When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit on a background of train tracks]

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