Volunteering in an Active Nation
Our vision for Volunteering in an Active Nation is as relevant for volunteers as for those taking part in sport and physical activity. We want everyone in England regardless of age, background or level of ability to feel able to take part.
From 2017 to 2021 we’re working together with community organisations, sports clubs, local authorities and volunteer groups to:
- Invest in improving the volunteer experience to make it more enjoyable and meaningful
- Bring in more people from under-represented groups to make volunteering in sport and physical activity more diverse
- Work with new partners as well as existing ones to build a more diverse audience.
Download our Volunteering strategy by clicking on the link below.
Active Lives Adult Survey
The results from our latest Active Lives Adult Survey, based on public data gathered from May 2018 to May 2019, shows that 14% of adults (6.2 million) are giving their time to support sport and physical activity. Many do more than one role, with providing transport and coaching being the most common. Other stats from the report include:
- Men are more likely to volunteer to support sport than women, comprising 58% of all volunteers
- People from lower socio-economic backgrounds (NS-SEC 6-8) are under-represented in volunteering, comprising just 11% of all sport volunteers but 31% of the adult population
- Volunteering is more popular among two key age groups: those aged 16-24 and those in the 45-54 bracket. Combined, these groups account for 39% of all volunteers (but only 30% of the population)
- Disabled people or those with a long-term health condition account for 13% of volunteers, despite accounting for 21% of the population as a whole
- The volunteer profile across ethnic groups is generally reflective of the wider population. For instance, Asian (excluding Chinese) women are under-represented.
The results from the survey also reflect the positive impact volunteering has on mental wellbeing, individual development and social and community development. Learnings include:
- The combination of both being active and volunteering is associated with higher scores across the mental wellbeing measures
- Those who were active and volunteered reported they were more likely to meet the goals they set themselves and to keep trying when they find things difficult, compared to those who did one and not the other
- Those who were active and volunteered reported they were more likely to trust people in their local area, compared to those who did one and not the other.
Workforce development guidance
The guide aims to help organisations improve the understanding of their workforce, learn about areas relevant to their needs to inform future delivery and improvements, and provide evidence to advocate for the role and value of the workforce in organisations and more widely in the sector. We've developed the guidance so that it can be used by a diverse range of organisations and can be used flexibly to focus on areas that organisations would find most useful.
Our Volunteering Q&A has guidance around volunteering for organisations and projects. The comprehensive question and answer section includes explanations on everything from how to develop a volunteering strategy to getting the most out of your volunteers.
UK Coaching guidance
UK Coaching’s mission is to put coaching at the heart of physical activity and sport. It specialises in developing inspiring coaches to bring the transformative power of coaching to communities across the UK. In England, they support national governing bodies of sport and Active Partnerships, as well as many other organisations across the sport and physical activity landscape. Click on the link below to find out more.
Club Matters is our website for clubs, groups and organisations involved in the delivery of physical activity and sport. It has free, practical resources to help organisations to develop, grow and become more sustainable and successful. This includes resources and guidance designed to help you attract, develop and keep your existing coaches, members and volunteers.
To ensure people who are engaged in sport and physical activity have the best possible experience, the workforce must be recruited, developed and supported in the right way.
Our vision for sports clubs is to help them create great experiences for all in high quality, safe and sustainable environments.
Our Active Lives surveys measure the physical activity levels of adults and children and young people across England, providing a wealth of data.