Oxford’s 55,000 volunteers contribute £27.6m to the city every year

Published: Monday, 5th December 2016

More than 55,000 Oxford residents are volunteers and give up their time to help transform the lives of others – contributing about £27.6m to the city every year.

Today (5 December) is the UN International Volunteer Day, an internationally-recognised day to celebrate the contribution volunteers make to their communities.

The Cabinet Office’s Community Life Survey estimates that 41 per cent of the UK’s adults (over 18) give up some of their time as volunteers. This means that about 55,328 adults volunteer across Oxford.

To mark UN International Volunteers Day, Oxford City Council commissioned Student Hubs to investigate the economic contribution of Oxford’s volunteers.

In total, 185 organisations provided detailed data about volunteers’ contribution to the sector. Extrapolating these results across all 55,328 volunteers found that Oxford’s volunteers give up approximately 3,082,604 hours every year.

At the Oxford Living Wage of £8.93 an hour, this is a monetary contribution of £27.6m to the city every year.                 

The survey also found that:

  • 75 per cent of Oxford’s volunteers support frontline services. This includes mentors, helpers, befrienders, sports coaches; gardeners, cooks and tutors
  • 14 per cent provide additional capacity by supporting back office functions, including communications, fundraising, volunteer recruitment
  • 11 per cent provide governance support by contributing to trustee boards, steering committees or as school governors

Student Hubs is a charity that encourages students to volunteer in their local communities.

Throughout this week, Oxford City Council will be celebrating the work of volunteers in Oxford – and promoting the broad range of volunteering opportunities available in the city.

The City Council has commissioned Leys News to produce 14 short films featuring interviews with volunteers about their role, why they volunteer, and why they think others should also volunteer.

Please get involved in the campaign by using the hashtag #Oxfordvolunteers – or by liking and sharing the videos.

The City Council has also worked with OCVA (Oxfordshire Community and Voluntary Action), which links organisations looking for volunteers with people who are interested in volunteering, on the campaign.

The campaign will encourage people to volunteer by registering their interest with OCVA. The charity will then help find local volunteering opportunities for everyone who has registered an interest in volunteering.

For more information about volunteering in Oxford, and to register your interest in becoming a local volunteer, please visit: www.oxford.gov.uk/volunteer.

Councillor Christine Simm, Executive Board Member for Culture and Communities, said: “I am so proud of the passion and commitment of Oxford’s volunteers. They come from such a broad range of backgrounds and make a huge contribution in many different ways, each and every day, to the residents of the city.”