Sunderland young people more likely to volunteer

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YOUNGER people are leading the way as they help others and invest in their own future.

New figures show 18 to 24-year-olds in the region are the most likely to give up their free time.

More than 80 per cent are willing to join in voluntary projects.

The survey by npower revealed 28 per cent of that age group had volunteered recently, compared to just one in six older adults.

The statistics back up what organisations on Wearside see for themselves, as they put people in touch with groups in need of support and in turn make the most of the skills their volunteers can offer.

The Volunteer Centre in Toward Road, Sunderland, found of the 2,407 who signed up to it during the last financial year, the largest age group was between 19 and 25, with 780 joining in.

It was followed by the 15 to 18-year-old category, with 401 listed.

Of those that total, 542 were students, although the biggest status of all those seeking its help were those out of work, with 784 people of all ages using their time to assist those in need.

The centre’s chief executive, David Curtis, said: “People volunteer for lots of different reasons, and as long as someone is getting something in return, then that’s okay, someone is going to benefit.

“It could be they’re looking at health and social careers and want some experience, and we get a lot of local students from colleagues that are doing their Duke of Edinburgh Award and things like that.

“There are situations where if you haven’t had a job before, it’s difficult to apply, but if they have some volunteering, that could help them.”

The survey also showed 41 per cent of people from the region who had volunteered did so when they were under 24.

More than half of those aged 18 to 24 questioned said everyone should offer once in their life time, compared to 38 per cent of other ages.

Researchers said the younger generation also put their elders to shame, with 48 per cent of over-55s in the North East, the age group most associated with voluntary work, have never volunteered.

Bev Frain from UK volunteering charity CSV said: “Npower’s survey highlights that Britain’s youth are not worthy of their bad reputation and actually need to be applauded for the work they are doing.”

Twitter: @EchoEastDurham