Seventy per cent of students plan to volunteer this summer

Young woman in brown apron wearing black and green gardening gloves, holding hands up
28 June, 2021


According to new research from the Royal Voluntary Service, seventy per cent of students are looking to do volunteer work this summer: welcome news for volunteer managers and coordinators who have seen numbers fluctuate during the coronavirus pandemic.

The research was based on 1,000 higher education students aged 18-24. It looked at motivations for volunteering and the types of opportunity that appeal to potential volunteers:

  • 35% of students said that volunteering would give them a sense of purpose.
  • 47% felt that volunteering would give them useful and valuable experience.
  • 95% of students said they would consider helping at NHS coronavirus vaccination sites.

Student volunteer Shavaiz Mir spoke of having more time to volunteer, as his lectures have been held online:

“Virtual lectures have meant that students like myself have more time on our hands and I wanted to use this time for good… Anyone looking for something to give them purpose during their summer break should 100% sign up and give volunteering a try.”

Whether you’re a student or not, you can find volunteer opportunities in and around Bristol on the Voscur jobs board, and list opportunities for free as well. Coronavirus-specific opportunities should be listed on Can Do Bristol.

Top tips from Voscur for recruiting short-term volunteers

  • Be clear about the number of hours your volunteers must commit to, and whether that’s a weekly or monthly figure. Even in the holidays, students may have course reading or assignments to do, and many will have part-time jobs as well.
  • Explain the benefits for the volunteer, especially anything connected to work or learning new skills. Volunteers are there to help you, but it’s a two-way process, and you need to attract them.
  • Think about which roles can be home-based and which should be in-person. If someone is volunteering from home, what kind of support and social aspect is available? If they’re visiting you, what kind of coronavirus safety measures do you have in place? Bear in mind that most students won’t have been vaccinated yet.

You may also be interested in our half-day course for volunteer coordinators and managers, Measuring the Impact of Volunteering, on Tuesday 21 September 2021. This will help you prove how important volunteers are to your organisation, your finances, and your aims.