Charity study released with launch of new Impact Report at Downing Street reception with Patron Samantha Cameron.
A new survey by national disabled people’s charity Revitalise has highlighted the enormous personal and social benefits of volunteering.
The survey findings were issued to coincide with the launch by Revitalise of two new Impact Reports for 2015, one of which focuses on the benefits and impacts of volunteering.
Revitalise operates the largest residential volunteering programme of any UK charity. In 2014-15, Revitalise benefitted from 3,946 weeks of volunteering, provided by 1,477 volunteers, over 8 out of 10 of whom were aged between 16 and 25.
The contribution of volunteers is indispensable to Revitalise, enabling the charity to provide a wide variety of life-enhancing holiday experiences for the disabled people and carers who come to Revitalise’s three accessible centres for respite breaks.
The Revitalise research revealed some of the benefits of volunteering in relation to the world of work. An overwhelming 95% of the Revitalise volunteers in the 16-25 age group believed that volunteering improved their job prospects.
To confirm this belief, half (49%) of the volunteers in the same age group now in work said that volunteering had helped them get their jobs.
The personal benefits of volunteering also featured strongly in the survey. 95% of the Revitalise volunteers said the experience had improved their understanding and attitude towards disabled people.
The value of volunteering in empowering people to improve society is also known by Revitalise; in a 2014 survey, three quarters (77%) of volunteers said the experience had inspired them to play a more active role in the community.
In financial terms, the impact of Revitalise volunteers is also impressive. The contribution of the charity’s army of volunteers was calculated at over £925,000 in 2014-15, based on minimum wage.
These statistics, together with the testimonies of some of Revitalise’s volunteers, are contained in the charity’s new Impact Report, ‘Sharing Stories’, launched at a reception at No.10 Downing Street, at the invitation of the charity’s Patron, Samantha Cameron.
In the light of the survey’s findings, Revitalise is championing volunteering as an all-important head start for young people entering the world of work, as well as catalyst for self-improvement.
Revitalise Chief Executive Chris Simmonds commented:
“On behalf of Revitalise I would like to thank our Patron, Samantha Cameron, for inviting us to Downing Street to launch our new Impact Reports.
“It is very important to us to demonstrate that what we do is making a genuine difference, and our two new Impact Reports are designed to do just that. The personal testimonies of those we serve – coupled with our own research – paint a vivid picture of the very real impact we are making, not only on the disabled people and carers we support, but also on the volunteers who support us.
“Our survey strongly suggests that volunteering gives young people a vital edge in the competition for jobs. The fact that half of the young people now in work said volunteering had helped them get their jobs is evidence of that.
“What’s more, through volunteering with Revitalise, young people are benefitting in a wide variety of other ways too. It is very gratifying to see that their volunteering experience with us is inspiring young people to get more involved in improving society.
“Revitalise is over 50 years old and we owe our very existence to the inspirational efforts of volunteers, so I’d like to appeal to young people to try their hand at volunteering with us and give their lives and career prospects a much-needed boost.”
21 year-old Henry Mann is a current Revitalise volunteer whose story is featured in one of the new Impact Reports. Henry said:
“Volunteering with Revitalise has made the most fundamental impact on my life. I’ve grown in confidence. There’s a different kind of satisfaction you find through selflessness that you can’t get in other ways.”
Revitalise is a national charity providing respite holidays for disabled people and carers at three accessible centres in Chigwell in Essex, Southampton and Southport, with 24-hour nurse-led on-call care, personal support and a range of accessible excursions, activities and entertainment.
People wanting more information about volunteering with Revitalise or the charity’s respite holidays are requested to call 0303 303 0145 or visit www.revitalise.org.uk.