Centre for Ageing Better
21 Mar 2019
People in later life already make significant contributions to their communities – from small acts of neighbourliness to formal civic roles – sharing their time and talents for the benefit of others.
Ageing Better’s research also shows that taking part in voluntary and community activity also improves people’s own social connections, sense of purpose, self-esteem and life satisfaction in later life.
Those who contribute to their community report that they are happier and have better social connections and sense of purpose as a result. Where people in later life feel valued and appreciated in their formal volunteering roles, there is evidence to suggest this contributes to reduced depression.
However, some people in later life face particular barriers to participation. Those on low incomes or living in poor health are much less likely to take part in volunteering opportunities, even though the evidence suggests that they have the most to gain in terms of wellbeing. The review will focus particularly on how to address barriers to voluntary and community activity among these and other underrepresented groups.
As part of the review we called for evidence and insight and will also host a series of roundtables in 2018 with cross-sector organisations that work with volunteers. This will culminate in a set of practical recommendations to inform the work of government and the voluntary, public and private sectors.
We want to understand more about:
Tracey Crouch, Minister for Civil Society, said:
“Volunteering has a huge impact on people’s lives. This review is creating a conversation that will hopefully result in even more opportunities for a greater number of over 50s to share their skills with others, and bring communities together.”
Do you have experience of volunteering or making a contribution in later life? If yes, tell us your story.
We want to capture insights from both personal and professional experience, as well as evidence from formal research and evaluations to inform our understanding of what works and what could make a difference, for who and where.
We particularly want to hear about experiences related to lower socio-economic groups and those in poor health and living with long term conditions. We are interested in contributions from:
Email us at VolunteeringReview@ageing-better.org.uk if you wish to submit evidence or if you have questions about the review.