Agenda Item No. 12


The Vale of Glamorgan Council


Voluntary Sector Joint Liaison Committee:  3rd October 2018


Report of the Voluntary Sector


Economic Value of Volunteering within the Vale of Glamorgan


Purpose of the Report

  1. To provide an annual report on the economic value of volunteering within the Vale of Glamorgan


2.        The Vale Voluntary Sector Joint Liaison Committee receives the report for

           information and acknowledges the seventy one fold return on their investment

           through voluntary activity alone.

2.1      This report should also be referred to the Cabinet and other members of the Council

           for information.

Reason for the Recommendation

To acknowledge the contribution that volunteers make to the Vale of Glamorgan and to provide an annual update on the Compact Action Plan.


3.1      This audit of voluntary activity was firstly undertaken by the Vale Volunteer Bureau (VVB) in 2000 where the monetary value of volunteering was calculated to be £8,207,136. Since the merger of the VVB with Vale Centre for Voluntary Services to form Glamorgan Voluntary Services (GVS) in 2015, this annual undertaking to provide a monetary value for the voluntary effort here in the Vale has continued.

3.2      Last year a figure of £39,102,861 was calculated as the average monetary value of voluntary activity in the Vale of Glamorgan.

Relevant Issues and Options

4.1      This exercise was repeated by the GVS at the beginning of 2018. Questionnaires were sent out to all volunteer recruiting organisations based in the Vale and registered with GVS. The questionnaire asked for the number of volunteers involved in the organisation and the number of hours per week that they volunteered.

4.2      The information received from the returned questionnaires provided the average number of active volunteers per organisation, and the average number of hours worked by those volunteers each week.  We then applied a figure of £13.60 which according to the 2018 Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings is the average hourly rate (the hourly rate that was used in last year's calculation was £13.29). A calculation based on this hourly rate and the information we received from recruiting organisations was undertaken by GVS (7,149 x 8 x £13.60 = £777,812 x 52 = £40,446,224).

4.3      In comparison with the previous year the monetary value of volunteering has risen from £39,102,861 to £40,446,224. This is an increase of £1,343,363.

4.4      Although the hourly rate has changed from our 2017 figure, we are still able to provide clear evidence that the number of volunteers and volunteering hours have increased over the past 12 months. In 2017 we recorded an average of 6,912 active volunteers, whilst our figures for 2018 show an increase of 237 to 7,149.

4.5      This growth can be attributed to the increase in the number of organisations recruiting volunteers.  They have been assisted in this process by the increasingly varied way in which GVS assists them in attracting volunteers. For instance GVS has held a number of local Volunteering Fayres throughout the Vale of Glamorgan and held a "BIG Volunteering Fayre" in Barry in October 2017 at which 60 local organisations offered volunteering opportunities and 180 members of the public attended. 27% of those who attended signed up to volunteer on the day.

4.6      It should also be noted that the figure provided here is an average figure  of "formal volunteering" (volunteering that is undertaken through the auspices of a formal arrangement with a voluntary organisation) and as such only provides a snap shot of the voluntary activity taking place in the Vale of Glamorgan. Informal volunteering is doing something unpaid as an individual for a neighbour or friend or member of your community, who is not a close family member.

4.7      Informal volunteering was undertaken by almost two thirds of adults in Wales in 2015, with an estimated 1,626,789 people providing some kind of help during the year. This represents a significant input by the people of Wales into the wellbeing of their neighbours, friends and communities. The activities delivered show that informal volunteering has an impact on the demand for services from the public and third sectors, particularly in terms of care for older people and vulnerable people. This is similar to surveys in England. (Statistics provided by WCVA from research undertaken in 2015 by Beaufort Research).

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

5.        The Vale of Glamorgan Council provides approximately £500k, to the Voluntary Sector by way of grant assistance. It is evident that this small investment provides a staggering return in voluntary activity within the Vale of Glamorgan.

Crime and Disorder Implications

6.        Increased volunteering leads to greater social inclusion; several volunteering opportunities assist in the promotion of community safety, diversionary activities for young people and crime reduction.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

7.        GVS aim to provide volunteering opportunities to all sections of the community. The Council's position on equality of opportunity is put into daily practice through the funding of GVS' work with the voluntary community groups operating in the Vale of Glamorgan.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

8. All Scrutiny Committees

Contact Officer

Rachel Connor, Chief Executive Officer, GVS

Responsible Officer:

Rachel Connor, Chief Executive Officer, GVS