Review of Volunteering and Community Contributions in Later Life

16th November 2017

The Centre for Ageing Better, in partnership with the Department for Digital Culture Media and Sport, has launched a review into how to enable more people aged 50 and over to contribute their time, skills and experience to their communities.

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. 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.

Barriers to participation
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.

What does the review want to find out?
The review is calling for evidence and insight and will also host a series of round tables 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.

See here for more information