An independent report for Action for Children has placed a net value of more than £400,000 on the contribution of volunteers to the charity.
Action for Children commissioned the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) and the Office for Public Management to carry out the research across its 160 children’s centres.
Researchers gathered evidence through interviews with volunteers, staff and parents as well as two online surveys for staff.
Through studying financial data for 23 centres it found that the average number of volunteers in each centre is 7.4 with each contributing on average three hours per week equating to a value of £7,392 per centre per year. It therefore estimates that the overall contribution of volunteers to the charity per year is £1,183,000.
The annual average cost of supporting volunteers is £4,835 per centre, meaning that the annual overall value of volunteers is £2,557 per centre. This equates to £409,120 for its 160 centres when taking into account these expenses.
Maureen Nuttall, strategy manager at Action for Children said: “Seeing the facts summed up like this reiterates the need to invest in our volunteers – to ensure they get as much out of the experience as they put in.”
Sir Stuart Etherington, chief executive of NCVO, added that the report proves that “volunteering is not a free resource; it requires investment and structure to ensure that everyone has access to worthwhile and enjoyable experiences and is properly supported”.