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Man approaching later life outside in an allotment with friends

Age-friendly and inclusive volunteering

Our aim is to see increased levels of participation in voluntary and community activity by people who are currently under-represented.

We are working to help people in later life who want to contribute their skills, knowledge and experience but who face particular challenges and barriers.

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People over 50 who volunteer or otherwise help out in their community tend to be happier and to develop more and deeper relationships as a result. 

We know that people in later life who are less well-off, or in worse health, are much less likely to contribute their time and talents, especially through formal volunteering. Yet they are most likely to benefit from the improved social connections and wellbeing that come from contributing. 

Our review of community contributions in later life, in partnership with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, found that people from these groups encounter a number of personal and structural barriers to taking part.  

We are calling on charities and the public sector to do more to support and sustain the efforts of older volunteers. Organisations should take a more inclusive, age-friendly approach to supporting older people to take part and stay involved. 

We launched a fund to put these principles into practice. Funded projects will document models of good practice that sustain lifelong contribution, keep people connected to voluntary opportunities, or provide practical support for older people who are currently excluded.