Big Help Out organisers predict 6.8 million participants in second annual event

05 Jun 2024 News

Big Help Out

Organisers of the Big Help Out have reported that 6.8 million people are planning to take part this weekend in its second annual volunteering event.

One in 10 respondents to a nationally representative survey of 2,065 British adults last month said they planned to participate in the Big Help Out 2024, which equates to 6.8 million people at population level.

This is even higher than the 6.5 million people that organisers estimated took part in last year’s inaugural event, which was arranged to tie in with King Charles’s coronation.

King Charles has voiced support for the follow-up event set to take place this weekend to coincide with Volunteers Week.

As of last week, there are 1.14 million volunteering opportunities through the Big Help Out mobile phone app.

Parliamentary candidates urged to make pledge

Meanwhile, a group of 30 charities have urged parliamentary candidates to pledge their support for volunteering ahead of the upcoming general election.

Members of the Shaping the Future with Volunteering group have asked prospective MPs to support five statements:

  • Volunteering is the backbone of our society. It brings people together, promotes social cohesion and is good for the individual’s physical and mental well-being as well as the cause they are supporting.
  • Volunteering depends on a well-resourced and sustained voluntary sector made up of organisations of all sizes. Both local and central governments should do everything they can to enable the sector to flourish.
  • Volunteering should be available to all. Every effort should be made to ensure there is access to volunteering opportunities whatever your background and individual circumstances.
  • Governments should encourage volunteering as a way of developing social, personal and wider skill base that increase employability.
  • The Big Help Out should be supported as a national initiative that each year reaches out to people not currently volunteering.

The group’s co-chair and Royal Voluntary Service CEO Catherine Johnstone said: “Millions of people each year support their communities as volunteers making a huge impact.

“The difference it makes to their own lives is often profound in terms of their future pathways and sense of purpose and belonging.

“But not everyone is currently benefitting, and we need to make it far easier for everyone to be an active citizen.

“We’re looking to our future politicians to show their commitment by supporting the volunteering pledge and the Big Help Out.”

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