The Big Help Out will return in June next year as a three-day event to include a weekday so schools and workplaces can get involved.
The event invites people to try out volunteering, with opportunities listed on The Big Help Out app and searchable by location and interest. The Big Help Out launched this year, as part of the Coronation celebrations, and took place on 8 May – the Coronation bank holiday – with more than 7 million people taking part. It was founded by the Shaping the Future with Volunteering Group, which worked with The Together Coalition to deliver the event, supported by DCMS and the Royal Households.
The Big Help Out is being backed by thirty volunteering charities who are part of the Shaping the Future with Volunteering group: Age UK, Barnardos, British Red Cross, Canal & River Trust, Cats Protection, Citizens Advice, CPRE, Cruse Bereavement Support, Girl Guiding, Guide Dogs, National Trust, NCT, NSPCC, Papworth Trust, Ramblers, RNIB, RNLI, Rotary, Royal Voluntary Service, RSPB, RSPCA, Samaritans, Sea Cadets, Scouts, St John Ambulance, Stroke Association, TCV, Trussell Trust, Volunteering Matters, and YHA.
Matt Hyde OBE, Scouts Chief Executive and co-founder of The Big Help Out said:
“We were bowled over by how many people took part in The Big Help Out in 2023 and told us they were inspired to volunteer in the future. In 2024 we will extend to three days to make it easier for schools and businesses to get involved. We also plan to target communities who were less likely to take part in traditional volunteering. This is a hugely exciting opportunity to turn the dial on volunteering.”
Jon Knight, CEO of the /together coalition said:
“We are so excited to announce plans for The Big Help Out 2024 – and in our second year we are making this a long weekend, giving schools, work-places and business the chance to get involved in the working week, while having two weekend days so millions can get take part in their spare time as well.
“The Big Help Out 2023 surpassed our wildest expectations – 7.2 million people took part in the biggest single day of volunteering in recent history. Proving once again that if we can provide the opportunities to get involved and help our communities, we know the British people will grab them with both hands.”
Urging organisations in need of volunteers to get involved, Sarah Vibert, CEO of the NCVO, added:
“Each year we celebrate the army of unsung heroes during Volunteers Week. Many of us rely on charities for help, support, or to enhance our lives, so hosting the Big Help Out during Volunteers Week is not only a great way to say thank you, but also a chance for people to try something new, and maybe find their life-long passion for volunteering.
“Our latest research shows that for many charities, recruiting more people to volunteer is their top priority. Without volunteers, some charities wouldn’t be able to make the huge differences to people’s lives that they do. If you’re an organisation that wants to recruit more volunteers, then please get involved – it’s a great way to promote your amazing work and the positive impact volunteering makes to local communities.”