Publication - Statistics

Scotland's People Annual Report: Results from 2013 Scottish Household Survey: Revised October 2015

Published: 13 Aug 2014
Part of:
Statistics
ISBN:
9781784127428

A National Statistics publication for Scotland, providing reliable and up-to-date information on the composition, characteristics, behaviour and attitudes of Scottish households and adults across a number of topic areas including local government, neighbourhoods, health and transport.

217 page PDF

2.2 MB

217 page PDF

2.2 MB

Contents
Scotland's People Annual Report: Results from 2013 Scottish Household Survey: Revised October 2015
12 Volunteering

217 page PDF

2.2 MB

12 Volunteering

INTRODUCTION AND CONTEXT

The Scottish Government recognises that volunteers of all ages form a valuable national resource, vital to the success of Scotland and that volunteering is a key component of strong communities. Volunteering is all about new experiences, feeling good and making a difference and it is important to recognise the benefits of volunteering, in terms of skills development, community empowerment and strengthening public services.

The definition of volunteering currently used by the Scottish Government is: ‘the giving of time and energy through a third party, which can bring measurable benefits to the volunteer, individual beneficiaries, groups and organisations, communities, environment and society at large. It is a choice undertaken of one's own free will, and is not motivated primarily for financial gain or for a wage or salary"[114]. This definition broadly encompasses ‘formal volunteering’ – where unpaid work is undertaken through an organisation, group or club to help other people or to help a cause (such as improving the environment). In contrast, ‘informal volunteering’ refers to unpaid help given as an individual directly to people who are not relatives.

The volunteering questions in the Scottish Household Survey (SHS) ask about providing unpaid help to organisations or groups, therefore the focus of this chapter is on formal volunteering. This chapter presents findings about the prevalence and frequency of volunteering, and the type of organisations for which individuals give up their time. Biennially, questions are asked about the activities which individuals undertake, hours spent volunteering in the past month, and reasons why people who volunteered in the past have now given up. These questions were last asked in the 2012 survey, and were asked again in 2014. A number of terms are used interchangeably to refer to volunteering throughout the chapter (e.g. unpaid help, unpaid work, unpaid activity and voluntary work).

Main Findings

  • Levels of volunteering have remained relatively stable over the last 5 years, with around three in ten adults providing unpaid help to organisations or groups. In 2013, 28 per cent of adults provided unpaid help to organisations or groups in the last 12 months.
  • Levels of volunteering vary according to gender across all age groups. Overall, in 2013, more women (30 per cent) than men (25 per cent) volunteered in the last 12 months.
  • Levels of volunteering vary according to economic status with fewer people from lower socio-economic groups volunteering compared with higher income groups.
  • The type of organisations most commonly volunteered for are youth or children’s organisations (23 per cent), health, disability and social welfare organisations (21 per cent), and children’s activities associated with schools (20 per cent).
  • Younger adults are more likely to work with children and young people and help with sporting activities, whilst older adults are more likely to volunteer for religious organisations, community groups, and groups working with the elderly.

PROVIDING UNPAID HELP TO ORGANISATIONS OR GROUPS

Prevalence of providing unpaid help

Table 12.1 shows that 28 per cent of adults have provided unpaid help to organisations or groups in the last 12 months. There is a difference along gender lines with a slightly higher percentage of women (30 per cent) saying that they provide unpaid help compared with men (25 per cent). Figure 12.1 shows the trend in volunteering over the past 5 years. It can be seen that the overall rate of volunteering has remained relatively stable over the time period with the proportion of females being consistently higher than males.

Table 12.1: Whether provided unpaid help to organisations or groups in the last 12 months by gender

Column percentages, 2013 data

Adults Male Female All
Yes 25 30 28
No 75 70 72
Total 100 100 100
Base 4,450 5,470 9,920

Figure 12.1: Percentage providing unpaid help to organisations or groups in the last 12 months by gender

2009-2013 data, Adults (2013 base: 9,920 minimum base: 2,450)

Figure 12.1: Percentage providing unpaid help to organisations or groups in the last 12 months by gender

Figure 12.2 shows that the gender difference is true for all age groups between 16 and 59. Of those aged over 60, similar proportions of males and females reported volunteering[115]. In 2013, the biggest difference between males and females was within the 35 to 44 age group, where a significantly higher proportion of females (38 per cent) volunteered than males (27 per cent).

Volunteering was lowest among men aged 25 to 34 compared to all of the other age groups under the age of 75, with around one fifth (21 per cent) of men in this age group providing unpaid help. After the age of 75, providing unpaid help declines: 20 per cent of both men and women aged 75 and over had provided unpaid help to organisations or groups in the last 12 months.

Figure 12.2: Percentage providing unpaid help to organisations or groups in the last 12 months by age within gender

2013 data, Adults (minimum base: 380)

Figure 12.2: Percentage providing unpaid help to organisations or groups in the last 12 months by age within gender

There was also variation in volunteering according to individuals’ current economic situation (Table 12.2). Those who were ‘self-employed’ (36 per cent), in part-time employment (35 per cent), and those in higher / further education (33 per cent) were most likely to have provided unpaid help. Adults who were permanently sick or disabled (14 per cent) were least likely to have volunteered. Over one fifth (21 per cent) of those unemployed and seeking work had volunteered in the previous 12 months.

Table 12.2: Whether provided unpaid help to organisations or groups in the last 12 months by current economic situation

Column percentages, 2013 data

Adults Self-employed Full-time employment Part-time employment Looking after home/family Permanently retired from work Unemployed and seeking work Higher/further education Permanently sick or disabled All
Yes 36 26 35 27 26 21 33 14 28
No 64 74 65 73 74 79 67 86 72
Total 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100
Base 600 3,250 990 540 3,130 480 290 460 9,920

Additional categories suppressed from table due to low base totals

Table 12.3 shows the differences in volunteering by household income band. It can be seen that in general the percentage of adults volunteering increases with income. One-fifth (20 per cent) of adults in households in the lowest net income band, £0-£6,000, volunteered in the last 12 months, compared to around two-fifths (38 per cent) of those with a net household income of more than £40,000.

Table 12.3: Whether provided unpaid help to organisations or groups in the last 12 months by net annual household income

Column percentages, 2013 data

Adults £0 - £6,000 £6,001 - £10,000 £10,001 - £15,000 £15,001 - £20,000 £20,001 - £25,000 £25,001 - £30,000 £30,001 - £40,000 £40,001+ All
Yes 20 21 22 24 26 28 32 38 28
No 80 79 78 76 74 72 68 62 72
Total 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100
Base 310 1,010 1,860 1,530 1,180 910 1,250 1,580 9,620

Household income in the SHS is that of the highest income householder and their partner only. Includes all adults for whom household income is known or has been imputed. Excludes refusals/don't know responses.

Table 12.4 shows the prevalence of volunteering by level of deprivation, as defined using the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD). It can be seen that volunteering is lower for those in the 15 per cent most deprived areas (17 per cent) than in the rest of Scotland (30 per cent).

Table 12.4: Whether provided unpaid help to organisations or groups in the last 12 months by Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD) 15 per cent most deprived

Column percentages, 2013 data

Adults 15 per cent most deprived Rest of Scotland Scotland
Yes 17 30 28
No 83 70 72
Total 100 100 100
Base 1,450 8,470 9,920

Overall, the results from 2013 looking at levels of volunteering by economic situation, household income and area deprivation continue to support evidence[116] about the under-representation of disadvantaged groups in volunteering.

Table 12.5 shows differences in volunteering by Urban Rural classification[117]. Similar to 2012, it can be seen that the rate of volunteering in rural areas is higher than in urban areas, with 37 per cent of adults in remote rural areas providing unpaid help to groups or organisations compared to 25 per cent in large and other urban areas (although the proportion of adults in remote rural areas volunteering fell from 45 per cent in 2012).

Table 12.5: Whether provided unpaid help to organisations or groups in the last 12 months by Urban Rural Classification

Column percentages, 2013 data

Adults Large urban areas Other urban areas Accessible small towns Remote small towns Accessible rural Remote rural All
Yes 25 25 32 32 34 37 28
No 75 75 68 68 66 63 72
All 100 100 100 100 100 100 100
Base 3,300 3,010 910 610 1,060 1,030 9,920

Types of unpaid help provided

This section explores the types of organisations that people help by Urban Rural classification and age.

Table 12.6 presents the types of organisations that adults who did voluntary work in the last 12 months provided unpaid help to. The most common types of organisations which volunteers helped with were those working with ‘youth / children’ (23 per cent), people who work with ‘health, disability and social welfare’ (21 per cent) and ‘children’s activities associated with schools’ (20 per cent). Volunteering with ‘religious groups’ (17 per cent) and ‘local community or neighbourhood groups’ (17 per cent) were also common.

Table 12.6 also shows the variation in the types of organisations that adults are volunteering with by Urban Rural Classification. Almost one-third (31 per cent) of volunteers in remote rural areas provided unpaid help to ‘local community or neighbourhood’ organisations and 27 per cent provided help to ‘children’s activities associated with schools’, compared to 14 per cent and 18 per cent respectively in large urban areas.

Table 12.6: Types of organisations or groups for which adults provided help for in the last 12 months by Urban Rural Classification

Percentages, 2013 data

Adults Large urban areas Other urban areas Accessible small towns Remote small towns Accessible rural Remote rural All
Youth/children 25 21 24 19 21 21 23
Health, disability and social welfare 22 22 20 19 20 17 21
Childrens activities associated with schools 18 20 21 21 19 27 20
Religious groups 16 18 16 19 17 15 17
Local community or neighbourhood groups 14 14 15 13 28 31 17
Sport/exercise (coaching or organising) 14 17 18 11 18 20 16
Hobbies/recreation/arts/social clubs 13 14 14 18 17 18 14
The elderly 13 11 12 22 12 14 13
Education for adults 5 3 2 3 3 2 4
Citizens groups 4 3 5 4 4 6 4
Justice and human rights 4 2 1 6 3 1 3
Political groups 4 2 2 2 2 0 3
Wildlife protection 3 3 3 5 4 3 3
Environmental protection 3 3 2 6 4 4 3
Safety, first aid 3 4 3 6 3 4 3
Trade union activities 2 1 1 0 1 0 1
Domestic animal welfare 1 3 2 3 2 6 2
None 3 4 4 2 4 3 3
Dont know 1 0 1 0 0 1 1
Base 800 740 270 210 340 410 2,780

Columns may add to more than 100 per cent since multiple responses were allowed.

Table 12.7 shows the types of organisations that adults volunteered with in the last 12 months by age. Providing help with ‘children’s activities associated with schools’ was the most common type of volunteering among adults aged 35 to 44 (35 per cent). Of adults aged 16 to 24 who volunteer, they were most likely to have volunteered with organisations working with ‘youth / children’ (30 per cent). Volunteering through ‘sport / exercise (coaching or organising)’ accounts for 23 per cent of adults aged 16 to 24 who reported volunteering, compared to, at most, 19 per cent across the other age groups. In contrast, volunteering for ‘religious groups’ and organisations working with ‘the elderly’ becomes a more popular choice as adults get older, as does volunteering with ‘local community or neighbourhood groups’. Of those adults aged 75 and over who volunteer, 40 per cent did so with ‘religious groups’ and 23 per cent with organisations working with ‘the elderly’ and ‘local community or neighbourhood groups’.

Table 12.7: Types of organisations or groups for which adults provided help for in the last 12 months by age

Percentages, 2013 data

Adults who did voluntary work in the last 12 months 16 to 24 25 to 34 35 to 44 45 to 59 60 to 74 75 plus All
Youth/children 30 31 27 25 10 6 23
Health, disability and social welfare 24 18 18 23 21 22 21
Children's activities associated with schools 23 25 35 20 7 2 20
Sport/exercise (coaching or organising) 23 17 19 16 10 12 16
Hobbies/recreation/arts/social clubs 17 10 13 14 17 15 14
Religious groups 9 8 11 17 25 40 17
Local community or neighbourhood groups 8 12 17 21 21 23 17
The elderly 8 9 7 14 19 23 13
Safety, first aid 5 5 5 3 1 1 3
Wildlife protection 4 3 3 4 3 2 3
Education for adults 3 2 3 4 5 1 4
Environmental protection 3 2 3 4 4 3 3
Justice and human rights 3 3 2 3 2 1 3
Political groups 3 3 2 3 2 3 3
Domestic animal welfare 2 3 1 3 3 1 2
Trade union activities 2 1 1 2 0 . 1
Citizens groups 1 2 2 5 7 7 4
None 4 2 5 3 3 4 3
Dont know 1 1 0 0 1 2 1
Base 230 340 480 740 720 260 2,780

Contact

Email: Andrew Craik