Millions plan to give the gift of time this Christmas

Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Millions of us are planning to give the gift of our time this festive period by volunteering to help others.

New research from Royal Voluntary Service finds nearly one in five (17%) adults in Great Britain plan to volunteer over the Christmas period, with 14% intending to volunteer on Christmas Day itself*.

Of those who plan to volunteer, nearly three quarters (74%) intend to donate at least three hours of their time during the festivities and just over one in 10 (11%) will gift more than 10 hours.

The research also explored people’s thoughts around present giving at Christmas and reveals the selfless nature of our nation - 54% of respondents say the gift of time to help others is the most valuable gift you can give and nearly half (49%) believe more people should consider gifting their time to help others, rather than just spending on gifts. Two fifths (40%) also say they would prefer someone to donate their money or time to a good cause at Christmas rather than spending it on them.

On the back of the study, Royal Voluntary Service is hoping to inspire people to extend their goodwill by encouraging them to volunteer a few hours each week or month, throughout the year. Specifically, we want to harness the public’s giving spirit to support its work with the NHS and those in later life, citing the huge difference just a few hours can make to someone’s life.

"Christmas can bring out our altruistic side, and volunteering is one of the most generous gifts you can give. It offers enormous value for the person making the gift, and to those receiving it: it changes lives, changes communities and changes society. It is wonderful to see so many people plan to volunteer this Christmas, and we’d welcome more of this generosity throughout the year. The sense of purpose and joy that can be derived from volunteering and supporting others is incomparable.

“Whether it’s providing an older person with company at home or running a gentle exercise class on a hospital ward, our volunteers make a tangible difference to so many people, with millions of small acts of kindness. We would love to welcome more volunteers into our family in 2019.”There was no respect for youth when I was young, and now that I am old, there is no respect for age - I missed it coming and going."

Rebecca Kennelly, Director of Volunteering for Royal Voluntary Service
*Omnibus research conducted by Walnut Unlimited amongst 2035 GB adults aged 18+ online between 24th and 26th November 2018. Figures have been weighted to represent the GB adult population based on ONS population predictions for mid-2017 that there are 50,644,094 over 18s in GB. Christmas period specified between 1st December – 1st January.

For further information

Royal Voluntary Service is one of the largest voluntary service organisations in Britain. We inspire and enable 20,000 volunteers to help people in need in hospitals, at home and in the community.

Our volunteers improve patient experience in hospital, aid recovery after a stay on ward, help older people support themselves at home, stay fit and active and build meaningful social connections.

Royal Voluntary Service supports volunteers to run services in the community such as lunch and dining clubs, physical activity classes, craft, gardening and other hobby groups. We work collaboratively with other charities, social care providers and the NHS to help create a society where everyone feels valued and involved.

The charity is one of the UK’s largest hospital retailers with 230 volunteer-run shops, cafés and trolley services providing tea and company to patients, hospital staff and visitors.

To become a local volunteer search for volunteering opportunities in your area. Or help make a difference by making a secure online donation.

If you are a member of the press and have a media enquiry please contact the Media Team. For all other enquiries, contact us.

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