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Voluntary Work » Types of Voluntary Work

Broad range of fields

The voluntary sector covers a whole range of fields.

The 1997 National Survey of Volunteering (carried out by BMRB International on behalf of the Institute of Volunteering Research) discovered the following:

The four most common areas of involvement for volunteers were:

  • Sport and exercise
  • Children's education and schools
  • Religion
  • Health and social welfare

Typical other areas include:

  • Housing
  • Environment
  • Youth work
  • Cultural heritage
  • Childcare
  • The Arts
  • Refugees/asylum seekers
  • Disability
  • Advice and counselling

Range of jobs / tasks

There are a whole range of jobs and tasks you can do in the voluntary sector. The 1997 National Survey of Volunteering found that the four most common types of voluntary task were:

  • Raising or handling money
  • Organising or helping to run an event or activity
  • Serving on a committee
  • Providing transport

Paid and unpaid

Most people involved within the voluntary sector in the UK are working for small, locally-based organisations. Often such organisations have no paid staff. However, the size and complexity of the voluntary sector is such that it is actually a significant employer within the UK. Larger charities and national organisations have thousands of paid staff. The voluntary sector can therefore be a career option for those seeking paid work.