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Publication - Statistics Publication

Scotland's People: Results from the 2015 Scottish Household Survey

Published: 27 Sep 2016
Part of:
Statistics
ISBN:
9781786524416

Report presenting reliable and up-to-date information on the composition, characteristics and behaviour of Scottish households.

287 page PDF

5.4MB

287 page PDF

5.4MB

Contents
Scotland's People: Results from the 2015 Scottish Household Survey
12 Volunteering

287 page PDF

5.4MB

12 Volunteering

12.1 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" [75] . 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 2014 survey. 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 2015, 27 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 2015, more women (30 per cent) than men (24 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 (22 per cent), health, disability and social welfare organisations (20 per cent), and children's activities associated with schools (19 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.

12.2 Providing Unpaid Help to Organisations or Groups

12.2.1 Prevalence of Providing Unpaid Help

Table 12.1 shows that 27 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 higher percentage of women (30 per cent) saying that they provide unpaid help compared with men (24 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, 2015 data

Adults Male Female All
Yes 24 30 27
No 76 70 73
Total 100 100 100
Base 4,240 5,160 9,410

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

2009-2015 data, Adults (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. In 2015, the biggest difference between males and females was within the 35 to 44 age group, where a higher proportion of females (36 per cent) volunteered than males (25 per cent).

Volunteering is lowest among men aged 25 to 34 compared to all of the other age groups under the age of 75 with one-fifth (20 per cent) of men in this age group providing unpaid help. After the age of 75, providing unpaid help declines: 18 per cent of men and 20 per cent of women aged 75 and over 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

2015 data, Adults (minimum base: 750)

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

There is also variation in volunteering according to individuals' current economic situation (Table 12.2). Those in higher / further education (386 per cent), followed by those who are 'self-employed' (32 per cent) and those in part-time employment (31 per cent) are most likely to provide unpaid help. Adults who are permanently sick or have short term ill health issues or are disabled (176 per cent) are least likely to volunteer. One-fifth (20 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, 2015 data

Adults Self -employed Full-time employ-ment Part-time employ-ment Looking after home / family Perma-nently retired from work Unem-ployed and seeking work In Education (including HE/ FE) Perma-nently sick or short term ill health or disabled All
Yes 32 25 31 27 26 20 38 17 27
No 68 75 69 73 74 80 62 83 73
All 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100
Base 560 3,130 980 450 3,030 310 390 550 9,410

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. Around one-fifth of adults in households in the lowest net income bands, £0-£15,000, volunteered in the last 12 months, compared to almost two-fifths (37 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, 2015 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 22 18 19 24 26 28 29 37 27
No 78 82 81 76 74 72 71 63 73
Total 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100
Base 230 880 1,670 1,460 1,110 870 1,270 1,620 9,100

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 20 per cent most deprived areas (18 per cent) than in the rest of Scotland (29 per cent).

Overall, the volunteering results from 2015 by economic situation, household income and area deprivation continue to support existing evidence about the under-representation of disadvantaged groups in volunteering.

Table 12.4: Whether provided unpaid help to organisations or groups in the last 12 months by Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation

Column percentages, 2015 data

Adults 20% most deprived Rest of Scotland Scotland
Yes 18 29 27
No 82 71 73
Total 100 100 100
Base 1,740 7,670 9,410

Table 12.5 shows differences in volunteering by Urban Rural classification. It can be seen that the rate of volunteering in rural areas is higher than in urban areas, with 36 per cent of adults in remote rural and 33 per cent of adults in accessible rural areas providing unpaid help to groups or organisations compared to around a quarter of adults in large and other urban areas (26 per cent and 24 per cent respectively).

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

Column percentages, 2015 data

Large urban areas Other urban areas Accessible small towns Remote small towns Accessible rural Remote rural Scotland
Yes 26 24 27 33 33 36 27
No 74 76 73 67 67 64 73
All 100 100 100 100 100 100 100
Base 2,760 3,220 860 580 1,010 980 9,410

12.2.2 Types of Unpaid Help Provided

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' (22 per cent). This was followed by people who work with 'health, disability and social welfare' (20 per cent) and 'children's activities associated with schools' (19 per cent). The next most common types of volunteering were 'local community or neighbourhood groups', 'religious groups' and 'sport / exercise (coaching or organised)' (all 16 per cent).

Table 12.6 also shows the variation in the types of organisations that adults are volunteering with by Urban Rural Classification. It can be seen that similar percentages of adults in large and other urban areas and remote rural areas (21 per cent) provided unpaid help to 'youth / children' organisations. A higher percentage of adults in large urban areas (22 per cent) provided unpaid help to 'health, disability and social welfare' organisations compared to remote rural areas (13 per cent). Conversely, almost one-third (30 per cent) of volunteers in remote rural areas provided unpaid help to 'local community or neighbourhood' organisations compared to 13 per cent in large and other 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, 2015 data

Large urban areas Other urban areas Accessible small towns Remote small towns Accessible rural Remote rural

All

Health, disability and social welfare 22 21 20 26 16 13 20
Youth / children 21 21 24 23 29 21 22
Local community or neighbourhood groups 13 13 19 18 23 30 16
Children's activities associated with schools 19 20 15 20 21 19 19
Religious groups 16 16 15 13 17 16 16
Sport / exercise (coaching or organising) 16 15 12 19 22 12 16
Hobbies / recreation / arts / social clubs 18 11 12 23 14 19 15
The elderly 15 12 9 19 11 16 13
Citizens groups 3 4 4 3 3 6 3
Education for adults 5 3 4 7 2 5 4
Wildlife protection 4 3 4 6 4 4 4
Environmental protection 6 4 9 6 7 6 6
Safety, first aid 4 4 3 5 5 2 4
Justice and human rights 6 2 3 4 2 2 4
Domestic animal welfare 3 2 2 2 4 3 3
Political groups 8 3 3 3 6 3 5
Trade union activities 3 2 1 0 2 0 2
None 4 5 3 5 2 2 4
Dont Know 1 0 - - - 0 0
BaseMin 700 760 240 200 330 320 2,550

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 gender and age.

Women were more likely to volunteer with 'youth / children' (25 per cent), 'children's activities associated with schools' (24 per cent) and 'health, disability and social welfare' organisations (22 per cent). Men were most likely to volunteer with 'sport / exercise (coaching or organising)' (25 per cent), 'youth / children' (19 per cent) and 'hobbies / recreation / arts / social club' (18 per cent).

Providing help with 'youth / children' (32 per cent) and 'children's activities associated with schools' (33 per cent) was most common among adults aged 35 to 44. Adults aged 16 to 24 were most likely to have volunteered with organisations working with 'youth / children' (28 per cent), followed by 'sport / exercise (coaching or organising)' (26 per cent). In contrast, volunteering for 'religious groups' and organisations working with 'the elderly' tends to increase as adults get older, as does volunteering with 'local community or neighbourhood groups' (to age 60-74 on the latter). Of those adults aged 75 and over who volunteer, 39 per cent did so with 'religious groups', and 22 per cent with organisations working with 'the elderly'.

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

Percentages, 2015 data

Adults who did voluntary work in the last 12 months Male Female 16 to 24 25 to 34 35 to 44 45 to 59 60 to 74 75 plus All
Health, disability and social welfare 17 22 19 17 20 21 22 17 20
Youth / children 19 25 28 25 32 25 12 4 22
Local community or neighbourhood groups 17 16 8 10 17 19 23 16 16
Children's activities associated with schools 12 24 19 23 33 21 8 4 19
Religious groups 14 17 5 12 9 14 28 39 16
Sport / exercise (coaching or organising) 25 10 26 12 19 19 9 6 16
Hobbies / recreation / arts / social clubs 18 13 14 18 14 13 16 16 15
The elderly 11 15 12 11 6 13 19 22 13
Citizens groups 3 4 3 1 1 5 4 6 3
Education for adults 5 3 3 2 4 5 4 3 4
Wildlife protection 4 3 3 5 3 4 4 2 4
Environmental protection 7 5 3 8 5 6 6 5 6
Safety, first aid 3 4 6 4 5 4 2 1 4
Justice and human rights 4 4 2 5 3 4 5 2 4
Domestic animal welfare 2 3 3 5 2 3 2 5 3
Political groups 6 5 4 5 4 6 6 3 5
Trade union activities 3 1 2 4 1 2 2 1 2
None 4 3 3 4 4 3 4 5 4
Dont Know 1 0 - 1 0 0 1 0 0
BaseMin 1,010 1,540 200 290 440 710 670 230 2,550

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


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