Why is volunteering important?

As well as helping others, volunteering has been shown to improve volunteers' wellbeing too.

It’s human nature to feel good after helping someone out. Volunteering can also help you gain valuable new skills and experiences, and boost your confidence.

If you’re interested in volunteering, here’s how to get started and some volunteering stories to inspire you.

I oversee the Mayor of London’s volunteering programmes. This includes the tens of thousands of Londoners who give back to the capital through Team London. The contribution these volunteers make to the lives of others is truly inspiring. Their efforts are helping to break down barriers and bringing us all closer together. "

Matthew Ryder, Deputy Mayor for Social Integration, Social Mobility and Community Engagement.
  • In 2017/18, 20.1 million (38%) people in the UK volunteered formally at least once a year and 11.8 million (22%) of people did so at least once a month.
  • ‘Wanting to do good’ is the most important reason to volunteer. In 2017/18, 46% of people said that they volunteer to improve things and help others.
  • In 2015/16, there were 166,001 voluntary organisations in the UK, many of whom rely on volunteers.
  • In 2015, volunteering was worth more than £22.bn to the UK economy. This is about 1.2% of GDP.
  • Lots of volunteering also takes place within the public and private sector.