The UK’s got talent

Thursday, 23 May 2019 Everyone's got talent
The popularity of TV shows such as Britain’s Got Talent and Strictly Come Dancing has inspired 15 million more Brits (29% of the UK population) to perfect their talents and they are now being called on to utilise their skills for social good by volunteering.

According to research from Royal Voluntary Service and Legal & General, talent shows have led to millions taking up classes – from ballroom to breakdancing – inspiring 1.3 million comedians and 3.1 million singers. And in just seven years, The Great British Bake Off has transformed the nation’s view of baking and led to a nation of 3.5 million amateur bakers. Among those inspired by TV talent shows, one in three (35%) are practising their talents more, and one in 10 (13%) are now performing publicly.

While one in 20 (5%) Brits say they currently use their talents to help others, by either teaching or volunteering, close to half (46%) say they wished they had more opportunities to make use of them. The charity is calling on Brits to use their talents to help others and has created a short spoof talent film, supported by Legal and General, to show that everyone has something to give.

"It’s exciting to see that so many people up and down the country feel inspired enough to nurture their own talents – but what’s frustrating for many people is that they would like more opportunities to use their skills and talents. The good news though is that whether you can cook, bake, dance, make people laugh or just have a winning smile – you can use your talents to volunteer.

"For example with Royal Voluntary Service you can help cook at lunch clubs, run a singing group or help patients on ward to stay mobile by running an exercise class – and as a result help change the life of someone who lives near you. There really is something to suit everyone. Not only will you feel good making use of your own talents but the sense of purpose and joy that you can derive is unparalleled and stays with our volunteers throughout their life."

Rebecca Kennelly, Director of Volunteering for Royal Voluntary Service
The research shows that older respondents have also been inspired to refresh their skills. Among those aged 65 or over, one in 10 (13%) have re-discovered new skills or developed new talents in the past five years. Of those, over one in three (37%) have discovered or re-discovered cooking, general knowledge (25%), art (22%) and baking (20%). The most inspiring TV talent shows for this cohort include The Great British Bake Off (40%) followed by Britain’s Got Talent (30%) and Great British Sewing Bee (24%.)

Across the nation, Brighton’s residents rate their baking skills and say that this is their biggest talent, Edinburgh rate their ice-skating and board-game skills, while those in Liverpool say they have the best banter. London has the most comedians while Bristol rate their magic and illusion talents highly.

Royal Voluntary Service is one of Britain’s largest volunteering charities with over 20,000 volunteers supporting thousands of people each month in hospitals and in the community. The charity is also one of the largest retailers in the NHS, with its network of cafés and shops providing a valued haven in hospitals.

"Through talking to our customers, we know that Britain’s retirees have a wealth of talent. We also believe that retirement can be a perfect time to rekindle past interests, or even take up new pursuits, and these can be a great way to transition from full-time work while staying sociable and active. That’s why we are supporting Royal Voluntary Service in this campaign - and calling on the nation’s retirees to step forward and share those talents!"

Chris Knight, CEO of LGRR

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.

Back to list

Want to volunteer?

It couldn't be easier!

Sign up online and we'll get back to you with all the information you need to make a difference in your local community and NHS. 

Find opportunities 

Keep in touch

Keep up to date by eNewsletter about our work and the different ways that you can get involved and support us to do more.

Sign up

Read our blog

Find out about the people behind Royal Voluntary Service in our series of guest stories from our volunteers, colleagues and partners.

See what we're saying