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Research into drivers in demand for volunteers

NatCen has been commissioned by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to conduct an important piece of research into the drivers in demand for volunteers across England.

About the study

The aim of this research is to understand what drives demand for volunteers in England, including seasonal drivers such as winter pressures; environmental issues like flooding; school holidays; and sport seasons. It will also explore how COVID-19 has affected these seasonal drivers and demand for volunteering roles.

Who is carrying out the research?

This research is being carried out by NatCen Social Research on behalf of DCMS. NatCen is an independent social research agency. For the last 50 years we have worked on behalf of government and charities to find out what people really think about important social issues.

What’s involved?

The research will involve taking part in an online group discussion (using Microsoft Teams) with 3-4 other volunteers. The discussion will last up to 1 hour and will be led by a researcher from NatCen.

As a token of appreciation for your time, NatCen will send you a gift of £30 if you decide to take part.

What will you ask me about?

This discussion will seek to understand your motivations for volunteering and how the pandemic has impacted your decisions to volunteer.

There are no right or wrong answers. We’re just interested in hearing what you think.

By taking part you will help DCMS understand how volunteering trends differ season to season and how Covid-19 has impacted the demand for volunteering roles. This will then inform current government responses to COVID-19 as well as volunteering strategies in the future

Do I have to take part?

Please remember that although we would love to hear from you, taking part is entirely voluntary – you do not have to take part if you don’t want to and you can always change your mind.

What will happen to any information I give?

NatCen will store and handle all data securely and confidentially in compliance with GDPR. Only the research team will have access to the data. We will not share your contact details with any third parties and your personal details will not be held for longer than is necessary and will be securely deleted once the study has been completed.

During the discussion we will ask for your permission to audio record the session so that we have an accurate record of the discussion. The recording will be written up (transcribed) and will be kept securely by us, and only the NatCen team will have access. At the end of this project, the recordings will be securely deleted.

NatCen will use the information provided during the group discussion to write a report summarising the key findings. We will report on the main information that people have talked about. We will not use any names and it will not be possible to identify any participants in our report. This report will be shared with DCMS and  will be published on

You can find out more about how we will use your data here.