A better offer: the future of volunteering in an ageing society

Document type
Discussion paper
Rabin, Susie; McKenzie, Dinah
Commission on the Voluntary Sector and Ageing
Date of publication
14 August 2014
Issue paper; 1
Community Development and Regeneration, Older Adults
Social welfare
Material type

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Our ageing society is likely to have a profound effect on UK charities. The loyal band of retirees on whom so many charities rely as volunteers—a group in the past called ‘the reserve army of little old ladies’—are stalwarts of charity work. But the voluntary sector has a lot of work ahead if it is to retain their goodwill and their time. This paper looks at the future of volunteering, drawing on a series of focus groups with volunteers and a roundtable with charity volunteer managers in June and July 2014. It also looks at the evidence from an exclusive survey conducted with 12 of the UK’s largest charities, collectively responsible for hundreds of millions of pounds a year and thousands of volunteers across the UK, on their preparations for our ageing society.

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