VOLUNTEERING’S FOR LIFE NOT JUST FOR NEW YEAR, SAYS TIMEBANK

VOLUNTEERING’S FOR LIFE NOT JUST FOR NEW YEAR, SAYS TIMEBANK

People are interested in volunteering in January more than at any other time of the year, according to national volunteering charity, TimeBank.

 

Based on last year’s figures, TimeBank expects to see a doubling in the number of people looking for volunteering opportunities.

 

But TimeBank is urging budding volunteers to be patient. “It can take months to achieve a volunteer resolution”, says Helen Walker, Chief Executive, TimeBank. There could be a waiting list, the need for a Criminal Record Bureau check, if specific skills are required or if the charity they sign up to does not get back to them.

 

10% of people who registered their interest to volunteer admit that they would lose interest if they didn’t start straight away. So TimeBank has devised some top tips on how to stick with your New Year’s Resolution to volunteer so that people don’t give up at the first hurdle.

 

  • Ensure you get a specific contact name of the volunteer coordinator or relevant person so that you can chase it up
  • Ensure that you have your last five years of addresses to hand to avoid the delay of filling in your CRB (Criminal Record Bureau) check
  • Use a third party such as TimeBank to help you with volunteering ideas and to put you in touch with the right people
  • Do some research and think about what you want before you start looking
  • Pay a personal visit to your local volunteer centre so that you can find out about local volunteering opportunities there and then
  • Don’t be afraid to say no to an opportunity that doesn’t suit you or is not what you’re interested in
  • Be patient - all good things come to those who wait!

 

Janet Donnelly signed up to the TimeBank website for ideas on ways to volunteer back in September 09 and she still hasn’t been able to start volunteering. She says,

 

“I made the decision to sign up to TimeBank for volunteering ideas a while ago now but I’ve just been trying to find the right day to think about it properly, make time and get in touch with local organisations. I know I’ve got to get my act together but things happen that get in the way like holidays and a new job. I’m definitely going to start in January though – it can be such a miserable month so I think volunteering could be the perfect way to get me motivated and get me going.”

 

Helen Walker adds,

 

“We know how hard it can be to find a volunteering opportunity. That is why we offer people volunteering ideas, provide an email and telephone helpline and run our own volunteering projects. But there are things that get in the way of people being able to start volunteering so I hope our tips will help people stick to their New Year’s Resolution to volunteer so that more people can reap the benefits that it brings!”

 

For support and ideas on ways to volunteer in 2010 register with www.timebank.org.uk and sign up to the monthly newsletter.

 

For any media enquiries, case studies or a spokesperson contact Heidi Budino on 0207 785 6388 or email h.budino@timebank.org.uk

 

Notes to Editors

 

  • TimeBank surveyed 350 volunteers that signed up to the TimeBank website between March 08 and July 09
  • Other interesting findings from the survey include:
  • When asked how quickly they expect to find an opportunity, responses were:
  • Over a quarter (28%) said a week
  • 36% said a month
  • 11% said a few months
  • Only a quarter say they would be prepared to wait as long as it takes to find the perfect opportunity
  • When asked how long they would be prepared to wait to start volunteering once they found an opportunity, responses were:
  • Nearly one fifth (19%) claim they would only be prepared to wait until the weekend to start volunteering
  • 42% said next month
  • 28% said a few months
  • When asked what puts people off volunteering, responses were:
  • 42% said the charity never got back to me
  • 10% said a waiting list
  • 42% said time commitment
  • 20% said they don’t know where to start
  • 17% said specific qualifications or skills are needed
  • 5% said a CRB (Criminal Record Bureau) check

January 09 saw the number of people looking for volunteering opportunities more than double compared to the month of December 08, with an increase of 131%. The previous year saw a similar increase, with over half as many again signing up in January 08 as they did in December 07 (51%).

TimeBank surveyed 350 volunteers that signed up to the website between March 08 and July 09