Natural England’s volunteers provided a market value of over £3.5m worth of work in 2011, according to new research released for Volunteers’ Week.
Using a tool developed by the Institute of Research called the Volunteer Investment and Value Audit, Natural England calculated that in 2011 its 3,000 volunteers provided over 29,300 working days, which - based on comparable pay rates for the work undertaken - had a market value of over £3.5m. Further analysis showed that for every £1 spent on supporting volunteers – through training, providing equipment and transport - a value of £8.48 is returned.
Justin Davis Smith, chief executive of Volunteering England, said: “During Volunteers’ Week we celebrate the more than 20 million people who donate over 100 million hours to their communities every week. It has been estimated that the economic value of this activity is worth in excess of £40bn to our economy. As Natural England has found, the value of volunteers far outweighs the investment needed to ensure they are well supported.”
City volunteering scheme for social enterprises
Elsewhere, Lord Mayor of the City of London David Wootton has announced plans to extend the City Action volunteering matchmaking service to social enterprises.
The current service sees City-based businesses volunteer with community organisations in the City. In its new, extended format, City Action corporate volunteers will be matched with the social enterprise community, providing them with pro-bono business consultancy and support.
Lord Mayor David Wootton said: “The social enterprise sector is growing and is worth £24bn to the UK economy annually and there is significant growth potential for these enterprises if they can be strengthened through schemes like City Action. Our City of London Corporation scheme is also timely for social enterprises which can benefit from the social investment funder Big Society Capital”.