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More support needed to help volunteers move between organisations, BHF survey says

hands hold a volunteer badge on an orange top

DCMS should support charities in helping volunteers move between them as people increasingly look for shorter-term, ‘informal’ roles, a BHF report has said.

In the report, From goodwill to great impact: Maximising the benefits of volunteering, BHF outlines changes it believes should be made to help maximise the benefits of volunteering across the sector.

It says that while shorter-term, ‘informal’ roles are increasingly in demand, moving between organisations currently creates burden on charities and volunteers alike.


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To solve this, charities and other voluntary organisations should work collaboratively to build relationships with organisations supported by volunteers in similar roles. They should develop systems to enable volunteers to move more easily between organisations working in similar areas, such as charity retail.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) should engage with charities to understand how they can support charities and volunteering organisations in developing these systems. They should seek to ensure cross-compatibility where possible, provide clarity on legal issues, and support the validation of on-the-job learning gained through volunteering.

It would like to see the Government maximise the impact of the third sector ‘satellite account’ within Office for National Statistics (ONS) data to strengthen data around the value of the charity sector and of volunteering. In addition, it recommends that Government departments that support people to volunteer should provide meaningful data on the onward journey of those referrals.

BHF’s report also recommends that volunteering should play a more prominent role in social prescribing. 

BHF volunteer survey findings

BHF has 23,000 volunteers, however in June 2022 the charity was still 20% down on volunteer hours compared to pre-pandemic.

Surveys among its own volunteers have found:

Linda Fenn, its Head of Volunteering, said:

“Volunteers are the lifeblood of our charity. Every individual is critical in helping us raise money to fund lifesaving research, without which we couldn’t do the amazing things we do.


“We know there are still things outside of our direct control that could make the volunteer experience better. But we hope this report, and the recommendations we have made, contribute towards making sure our volunteers both today and of the future have an incredible experience while helping a fantastic cause.”