Do-it.org.uk succeeds in recruiting BME volunteers

Howard Lake | 7 September 2004 | News

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Online volunteering site do-it.org.uk has found that over a quarter of the volunteers it recruits for charities are from black and other minority ethnic groups.

Do-it.org.uk surveyed 1,500 of its registered users and found that it was succeeding in attracting people from black and minority ethnic (BME) groups, against a backdrop of unequal ethnic representation within the volunteering sector.

In fact, 27% of do-it.org.uk volunteers are from BME groups – 11% higher than figures quoted in the National Statistics, which found black and other ethnic minorities to make up 16% of the UK population.

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Tom Green, editor of do-it.org.uk said: “Many surveys suggest that BME communities are under-represented in volunteering, but do-it.org.uk is clearly allowing all people to access the opportunities they need. We’ve had over 20,000 volunteers register in the past six months – proof that the Internet is fast becoming one of the major resources for volunteer recruitment.”

From the people surveyed, the most popular areas in which users have displayed interest in volunteering are with children and young people. Over a third of respondents expressed a strong interest in volunteering within the education and literacy fields. Animals and the environment also continue to prove popular areas of interest for volunteers. Advice work featured highly with over a third of the respondents.

Registered volunteers on www.do-it.org.uk range from their early teens to those over 65. The survey found that the majority of volunteering respondents from do-it.org.uk are aged between 15 and 25 years old. Do-it.org.uk’s approach has always been that volunteering is not just about making a difference to society but can also help individuals improve their career development, and this finding would appear to endorse that approach.

Do-it.org.uk now features over 60,000 UK opportunities and has also introduced an overseas volunteering section to provide users access to opportunities on an international level.