Engaging adults in youth volunteering
Published: May 2010
We wanted to find out what encourages and discourages volunteering with young people.
We pinpointed three key stages in becoming a volunteer and the factors that influence whether or not people continue volunteering at each of these stages.
- Adults involved in volunteering were either doing it for the ‘intrinsic’ benefit of giving something back, or another ‘extrinsic’ benefit such as gaining experience for employability
- Volunteering could be encouraged by offering flexible opportunities, making volunteering as accessible and inclusive as possible and valuing volunteers throughout recruitment and the volunteering itself. It was also felt that perceptions about young people as being vulnerable or a group where volunteering could make the greatest difference also encouraged adults to volunteer
- What stopped people getting involved in volunteering was either a narrow understanding of what volunteering is and who does it, or negative perceptions of the voluntary sector and young people. There were also practical barriers such as a lack of spare time or financial stability.
This qualitative study comprised of six focus groups in metropolitan and non-metropolitan areas. Focus groups involved professionals responsible for managing volunteers in the youth sector; volunteers in the youth sector; non-volunteers who would like to do volunteering work with young people.
We used a purposive sampling approach to ensure diversity of participants in relation to age, gender, ethnicity and levels of experience with volunteering.
Read the report