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Time Well Spent: Volunteering in the public sector

NCVO released the latest in its Time Well Spent series today. This edition focuses on volunteering in the public sector.

The overall picture is positive but research reveals areas for improvement to allow public sector volunteering programmes to fulfil their potential, says NCVO.

People giving their time to public services, such as hospital and library volunteers, police specials, magistrates and school governors, are less satisfied with their experience than those giving their time to charities, new research has revealed. One in four (24%) say that their experience is ‘too much like paid work’.

Levels of satisfaction are strong among public sector volunteers but they are more likely to report that their experience is too bureaucratic and less likely to feel a sense of belonging to the organisation they’re volunteering with.

Public sector volunteers were also more likely than charity volunteers to plan to quit their volunteering, the research reveals.

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO), which represents charities and volunteering, said that public sector volunteering holds immense potential to make a difference, that these were not insoluble problems and that all public sector organisations can aim to meet the standards of the best when it comes to benefiting from the contribution of volunteers.

The research, Time Well Spent: volunteering in the public sector, which is published today, finds that 94% of those volunteering in the public sector say that they were satisfied with their experience. But only 47% said they were ‘very satisfied’, compared to 58% among charities and community group volunteers, while only 76% said they would continue volunteering in the future compared to 83% among charity volunteers.

For more information, check out Amy’s blog, or the full research findings.