Six million people could take part in Monday’s Big Help Out, according to figures from the organisers.
Recent polling for the Big Help Out shows that 6 million people plan to get involved with some form of volunteering on the day, and more than a thousand businesses including BT, BA, PWC and NextDoor have also signed up to take part.
Its figures also show that there are now over 8 million opportunities to get involved on the day, with more than 38,500 events taking place. In addition, more than 33,400 organisations are signed up to the Big Help Out app. The organisers are also expecting many more local events to be created by people with friends and family, from community litter picks to helping out a neighbour.
Planned events include:The Sea Cadets are inviting volunteer pipers to join them in attempting a world record with hundreds of cadets in Greenwich The Royal Parks will have a drop-in volunteering session on 8th May in The Green Park. Volunteers will plant blue flowering plants on the same site the public laid floral tributes to Her Late Majesty The Queen. The Canal and River Trust are inviting people to join their taskforces across the country and learn how to get involved. Every Name Counts UK has been informally set up specially for May 8th to invite people to spend an hour together using digital tools to transcribe previously unseen records from the Holocaust. The Church in Wales is cleaning Dinas Dinlle beach with hands-on help from the Archbishop of Wales, and churches around the country are organising similar local activities.
Brendan Cox, co-founder of the Together Coalition that is helping to organise the Big Help Out said:
“The scale of response has taken our breath away. With over 35,000 events there is something for absolutely everyone to try. Even if you can’t take part on the day you can still sign up to future volunteering via the app and website.
The coronation is going to be a huge weekend and the Big Help will help ensure its legacy doesn’t end when the bunting comes down.”
Over 50s participation
More research, this time from Saga suggests that Monday’s Big Help Out could see more than 3 million over 50s taking part.
The survey of 2,061 Saga customers found that 15% plan to volunteer on The Big Help Out Day, which is encouraging the public to use their extra day off to volunteer in their communities. This includes helping at events or with services in their local area, acting as a charity trustee, or raising money for a charity.
Extrapolated out across the UK population of over 50s, this could add up to 3.3 million, Saga suggests.
Saga also found that 51% of over 50s volunteer on a regular basis, while an additional 40% have some form of caring responsibility.
Motivations to volunteer include wanting to support a cause that means something to them or wanting to make a contribution to society. Of those with a caring responsibility, 23% are caring for a relative or friend, and 23% are also providing some form of childcare for a grandchild or other children.
Lisa Edgar, Chief Insight Officer at Saga, said:
“It is fantastic to see King Charles encouraging the public to use their extra day off to give back to those around them and make a difference for good causes. But many people over 50 are already doing so on a regular basis, leading the charge for volunteering in the UK and using their experience to play hugely significant roles in their communities. It’s important we recognise the importance of this age group, many of whom continue to give up their time after retirement.”