As another Volunteers’ Week comes to a close, we’re celebrating the impact of our Volunteering Fund.
This has been a huge collective effort and I want to say a big thank you to all the volunteers, project staff and CFE Research for their work on the evaluation – as well as Sport England colleagues for their support with this work.
We could not have done it without you!
What we’ve achieved
In 2017 we committed to investing up to £6 million in projects testing new approaches to learn what works best to bring new people into volunteering.
From 2017-2021, almost 9,000 volunteers had been recruited and four out of 10 had never volunteered before.
There was also a positive impact on volunteering habits, with 51% encouraging others to volunteer and 78% reporting they planned to volunteer in the future.
The fund tested new approaches, with new partners, to learn what works best to bring new people into volunteering and projects were successful in reaching those currently under-represented in sport and physical activity volunteering.
More than a third (37%) were from areas of high deprivation, 51% were female, 19% had a disability or mental health difficulty and 38% were from ethnically diverse communities.
Women and people from lower socio-economic groups are currently the least likely to volunteer in sport and physical activity and so to see these groups represented is fantastic.
The engagement of young people was also incredibly successful. More than 5,000 young people aged 10-20 engaged in social action that has helped others to get active, benefitted their peers and improved their local environment.
Our partnership with the #iwill Fund helped us reach new partners that could empower young people and develop youth-led social action opportunities in sport and physical activity.
And we now want to explore how we can embed the principles of a youth-led approach in our wider work – especially in our ambition to improve the experience of children and young people in sport and physical activity.