Volunteers give time worth £34bn a year

Civil Society reports that volunteering is worth £34bn a year in support of public services in the UK, new research by the innovation charity Nesta estimates. The report, People Helping People, calls for the public sector to create more opportunities for people to support each other through social action, which is defined as regular informal and formal volunteering, and community action.

Community action is giving unpaid help to support a community event, campaign or project run by neighbours.

Launching the report at an event in London yesterday hosted by Nesta and the Cabinet Office’s Centre for Social Action, Vicki Sellick, a director at Nesta and head of the Centre for Social Action Innovation Fund, said the £34bn worth of time given a year by volunteers included £22bn worth of formal volunteering, £10bn of informal volunteering and £2bn of community action. The £34bn figure is an estimate of the economic output value of social action. It excludes charitable giving, which is worth around £10bn a year.