Generation Z is more committed to volunteering to make a difference than any other age group, according to a new national survey from the British Heart Foundation (BHF) looking at attitudes towards volunteering across the UK.
While stereotypes of young people might be more ‘liking’ and swiping than donating and volunteering, BHF findings show that they’re bucking those associations, with thousands happy to give up their time for good causes.
The survey of 2,001 UK adults showed that under 35s volunteer more than any other generation, with over a quarter of 25-34 year olds (25%) currently giving up their time for charities, compared to just over one in eight respondents aged 45-54 (13%).
The findings also revealed that only 1 in 12 people aged 16-24 (8%) said they don’t volunteer as it doesn’t interest them, compared to one in five respondents (20%) aged 55 and over who said the same thing.
The new report, ‘The Gift of Time,’ reveals that volunteering can have a positive impact on wellbeing, with an incredible 7 in 10 volunteers (68%) saying that their charitable actions were beneficial for their mental health. In fact, the report found that 25-34 year olds are most likely to strongly agree that volunteering was beneficial for their mental health (35%), demonstrating the benefits for young people who get involved.
The survey also reveals that young people are more likely to lend a hand if they can learn from it. Two in five respondents aged 16-24 (40%) say they volunteer to gain new skills and experience, compared to less than one in five of those 55 and over (18%).
Linda Fenn, head of volunteering at the BHF, said: “Volunteering has a reputation problem that we urgently need to address. Far too many people assume that it’s just for older people and that it might not benefit them, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Our report has shown that young people have so much to gain from getting involved, helping them learn new things, improve their health and wellbeing, and make lifelong friends.”