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News by administrator @, Wednesday, June 03, 2009, 15:10

Record numbers of volunteers defied the recession to contribute £3.7m worth of time helping Crisis during 2008/09.

The findings come from research published to mark Volunteers' Week 2009. The research, undertaken by the organisation for Volunteering Research on behalf of Crisis, explored the impact its 08/09 volunteering programme made to the charity, its clients and volunteers.

The findings demonstrate the significant impact that volunteers have on Crisis and the services it is able to deliver to homeless people.

Leslie Morphy, Chief Executive of Crisis, said: "It seems that despite the financial hardships many people are facing due to the recession, they are even more willing to donate their time to volunteer. This is heartening news for Crisis, where volunteers play a vital role in the organisation and in the lives of homeless people.

"We plan to build on these strong foundations by taking on board the recommendations of the report by the IVR, ensuring that we put our volunteers at the heart of our organisation, enabling us to do more for more homeless people across the UK."

Research highlights include that 10,000 people volunteered for Crisis from July 2008 to June 2009. This figure does not include the many thousands of volunteers who take part in fundraising events or support Crisis' campaigns.

These 10,000 volunteers contributed well over a quarter of a million (266,860) hours of their time. Crisis Christmas alone, which is the largest volunteer led event in the UK, provided over 190,000 hours of support to around 1500 homeless guests .

The value of this time contributed by volunteers is estimated to be worth over £3.7m, an equivalent of 139 full-time members of staff. While volunteers get involved with Crisis for a variety of difference reasons, the main motivation cited was they want to do something worthwhile and to help those who are homelessness.

However, those aged between 25-34 are more likely to get involved to learn new skills and to get on in their career compared to other age groups.

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