Brits set to donate 74.3 million hours over Christmas

12 December 2019, 10:02

ust under one in five of us have made New Year’s resolution or other plans to start volunteering in 2020
ust under one in five of us have made New Year’s resolution or other plans to start volunteering in 2020. Picture: PA
EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

Britons will give 74.3 million hours of their time to support those in need this festive season, new research has found.

One in six adults in Great Britain has committed to volunteering over the festive period and a further 15% intend to make plans to in the run-up, according to the Royal Voluntary Service.

While one in twenty have made plans to volunteer their time on Christmas Day itself and one in 10 are considering it.

The research found over 14.8 million people are set to volunteer over the festive period, including 2.7 million on Christmas Day.

For many that have volunteered over the festive period in the past, the experience seems to have had a lasting effect.

Three in ten who responded to the survey said that volunteering at Christmas led them to do more to support their local community and one in five have gone on to do more regular volunteering.

Some said that their Christmas volunteering had encouraged other family members and friends to volunteer and for 15 per cent, volunteering had become part of their family’s Christmas routine.

Rebecca Kennelly, Director of Volunteering for Royal Voluntary Service, said: “Christmas is the season of goodwill and it’s both wonderful and extremely humbling to see that so many people are preparing to give their time to help others this Christmas, which for some, can be a difficult time.

"Research suggests time and time again that volunteering is good for individual well-being, for the people being supported and for society as a whole."

Jenny Hance one of the volunteers at Liss Luncheon Club in Hampshire,
Jenny Hance one of the volunteers at Liss Luncheon Club in Hampshire,. Picture: RVS

Jenny Hance is a Royal Voluntary Service volunteer at Liss Luncheon Club in Hampshire, which will be hosting a Christmas lunch in the build-up to the big day.

She said she enjoyed being part of the team and helping people out.

She said: “I enjoy being part of a fantastic volunteering team and serving the Christmas lunch, pulling crackers and having a chat and a laugh with the people that come in.

"There are so many people that spend this time of year alone and we like to do what we can to help share some festive spirit and remind them that there are people that care about them. It’s a few hours of our time and seeing people enjoying themselves and eating a home-cooked lunch is extremely rewarding.”

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