By Ben Cook, Third Sector Online, 3 June 2010
Report from Commission for the Compact says training, expenses and childcare costs all contribute
Recruiting and supporting volunteers from under-represented groups costs third sector organisations an average of £2,000 per volunteer, according to research published yesterday by the Commission for the Compact.
The Costs, Barriers and Benefits of Involving Volunteers from Under-Represented Groups says modifications to premises, language training, travel expenses and childcare all contribute to the costs.
But the report says cost is not the only barrier to under-represented groups - such as disabled people, refugees, asylum seekers and single mothers - becoming volunteers.
"Individuals from under-represented groups are likely to face access, childcare, transport or self-esteem issues and organisations can encounter issues such as the availability of Criminal Records Bureau checks, language barriers and additional staff time required to support under-represented volunteers," said Nick Drew, policy adviser at the commission.
The research was carried out by CSV Consulting and Manchester Metropolitan University on behalf of the commission.
It says that involving volunteers from under-represented groups offers benefits such as using their specialist knowledge and language skills, and promotes community cohesion.
The Compact, the agreement that outlines how the public and voluntary sectors should behave towards each other, says organisations should identify groups of people who are excluded from volunteering and encourage their involvement.
Third Sector Online