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Formal and informal volunteering on the rise

Howard Lake | 30 December 2004 | News

The number of people who participate in civic activities or volunteering has risen by 1.6 million from 2001 to 2003, according to The 2003 Home Office Citizenship Survey.

The biennial survey, which collects information to inform Home Office community policies, found that in 2003, 42% per cent of people volunteered formally (through groups, clubs or organisations) in the twelve months before interview, increasing from 39% in 2001. But monthly formal volunteering (28 per cent of people in 2003) remained static.

In England only, the percentage of people who participated at least once a month in civic activities, informal volunteering or formal volunteering increased from 48 per cent in 2001 to 51 per cent in 2003, an increase of more than 1.5 million people.

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Informal volunteering at least once a month also showed an upward trend, increasing from 34% in 2001 to 37% in 2003. But informal volunteering at least once in the twelve months prior to interview declined, from 67% in 2001 to 62% in 2003.

The figures offer a positive start to 2005, which sees the government-backed Year of the Volunteer campaign.

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