United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Human Development Index Ranking (UNDP, 2022)
Population (UNFPA, 2023)
67.7 milion
Total number of volunteers (ILO, 2022)
Direct volunteering (ILO, 2022)
Organization-based (ILO, 2022)

Volunteer statistics (ILO)*

Source: ILOSTATS. The data is collected by ILO from national statistical offices. As national statistics on volunteer work are produced using a variety of approaches and tools, direct and cross-country comparisons are not recommended. For more information, visit https://ilostat.ilo.org/topics/volunteer-work/

Total volunteering by type

Total volunteering by age group

Total volunteering by gender

Direct volunteering by gender

Organization-based volunteering by gender

Measurement work

Data source

  • 2007
  • 2008
  • 2009
  • 2010
  • 2011
  • 2012
  • 2013
  • 2014
  • 2015
    • Social Survey
  • 2016
  • 2017
    • Social survey
  • 2018
    • Household Survey
  • 2019
    • Household Survey
  • 2020
    • Household Survey
  • 2021
    • Household Survey
  • 2022
  • 2023
  • 2024

Laws, Policies, Schemes on Volunteering

Does the country have a piece of legislation on volunteering?

No data

Does the country have a national policy, scheme, plan or strategy specific to volunteering?


Name of specific policy, strategy or plan on volunteering at the national level. Year created Source link What are the relevant SDG areas/crosscutting themes of the policy, plan scheme or strategy?

Volunteering Policy – Supporting Communities, Shaping Lives (from Welsh Government)

2015 View source

Does the country have a sectoral and cross-sectoral policy, scheme, plan or strategy that mentions volunteering?


VNR Reporting

Voluntary National Review of progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals

View source

Reporting positive contribution of volunteering to the SDGs

Paragraph 1, page 13

The UK government’s vision, as articulated in the Civil Society Strategy (2018), is for people from all backgrounds and of all ages to be able to thrive, connect with each other, and give back to their communities – building an integrated society that works for everyone, in which people have a sense of control over their future and that of their community. The UK remains at or near the top of the global league tables for philanthropy and volunteering, with people in the UK giving more to charitable causes than any other country in Europe,6 and the majority of the population volunteering, in some way, over the course of a year. In 2017-18, 64% of people in England took part in a volunteering activity at least once.7 Volunteers are also making a significant contribution to the UK’s international development programmes overseas, for example, through the UK aid-funded International Citizen Service programme. 

Paragraph 2, page 36

Wales: Activity snapshot: Fusion is a programme that concentrates on helping Welsh communities experiencing economic disadvantage. These communities traditionally face barriers in accessing culture and heritage, and the benefits they can bring. Between 2015 and 2017, over 5,000 people took part in Fusion activities, working with local authorities, heritage sites, theatres, schools, museums, archives and libraries among others to help over 100 people gain a qualification, create over 300 volunteering opportunities and support more than 1,500 pupils in doing better at school. 

Paragraph 3, page 64

England: Business in the Community Business Class brings together businesses and schools strategic partnerships. Over the past ten years, almost 29,000 business volunteers from over 1000 businesses have reached over 277,000 young people. Businesses and schools have worked together on employability and enterprise, supporting school leaders, curriculum projects and wider community issues.

Paragraph 4, page 67

Scotland: #iwill: A UK-wide campaign to encourage and empower young people to make a difference to their community and to causes they care about through volunteering, fundraising, campaigning and mentoring. 

Paragraph 5, page 72

The International Citizen Service (ICS) has supported over 36,000 young people from the UK and overseas to volunteer on sustainable development projects. Placements are currently operating in Tanzania, Uganda, Nigeria, Kenya, Zambia, Cambodia, Nepal and Bangladesh. For instance, since 2016, 150 ICS volunteers from the UK and Kenya have been supporting the community in Nandi, Kenya to reduce stigma and marginalisation for deaf and disabled community members. 

Paragraph 6, page 116

Digital Communities Wales is delivered by the Wales Co-operative Centre and supports a partnership of organisations that are working with digitally-excluded people. The National Survey for Wales (2017-18) showed that 15% of adults do not regularly use the internet in Wales with older and disabled people, those with limited qualifications and those who were unemployed or economically inactive still the least likely to use digital technologies. The partnership offers digital training for frontline staff and volunteers loans of digital equipment and accreditation. 

Paragraph 7, page 140

Scotland’s National Volunteering Outcomes Framework was developed over 2018 by the Scottish Government jointly with partners from the volunteer and community sector, local government and NHS, with academics and social researchers, and with volunteers 

Paragraph 8, page 143

Volunteering Wales is a new digital volunteering platform, hosted by the Wales Council for Voluntary Action. It allows volunteers to find opportunities and log their hours and skills gained from volunteering. More than 3,000 organisations are already using the platform. 

Paragraph 9, page 176

Ulster Wildlife delivers the Sea Deep project, a conservation initiative focussed on endangered sharks, skates and rays around Northern Ireland. From tagging sharks at sea to surveying for their egg cases on the shore, Sea Deep is training and equipping volunteers to collect much-needed data on local species to inform conservation and management measures. 

Paragraph 10, page 199

The Heritage Lottery funded Wales for Peace project brought together partners from the third sector, higher education and grassroots community groups to explore how Wales has contributed to peace in the 100 years since World War One to encourage action on peace. During the project, 500 volunteers have uncovered hidden histories of peace to inspire future generations, and hundreds of thousands visits exhibitions and events. 

Paragraph 11, page 204

The UK public more broadly is also contributing to achieve the Goals domestically and internationally: people are generously donating their money and their time to the causes they care about and initiatives such as UK Aid Match and employer-supported volunteering.

No mention
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