Residents as volunteers

abbeyfield residents as volunteers funded by the big lottery

Volunteering is good for the individual and the communities they live in. It gives people a sense of purpose and a feeling of giving something back. But, research shows us that there is a significant decline in the number of people who volunteer after the age of 75.

We sought to find out why, and the results from our Big Lottery Fund funded project ‘Residents as Volunteers’ are below.

Encouraging older people to volunteer 

The aim of the project was to increase volunteering activity in those over seventy five years old, and, working in conjunction with NCVO, measure the impact that volunteering had on the well-being and quality of life of those who participated. The Residents as Volunteers project funded by the Big Lottery Fund.

Our research into older people who volunteer

abbeyfield encourages its residents to become volunteers

In total the project involved 110 residents. Here is a summary of our findings:

  • 31% of resident volunteers said they had volunteered in the past 
  • The most common motivations were of an altruistic nature, such as wanting to improve things or help people (45%) 
  • 75% of volunteering happened inside the residents' homes, i.e on Abbeyfield sites
  • 50% of resident volunteers gave up to ten hours a month
  • Provision of support was seen as being 'crucial' for the success of the project
  • There were a variety of barriers to volunteering, with 36% feeling they were 'too old'
  • Residents felt that volunteering had a positive impact on their emotional and social well-being
  • Many also reported that volunteering helped them to stay physically and mentally active

Download supporting documents 

Hear from our residents who volunteered

A thank you to everyone involved

  • Abbeyfield residents, staff and inspiration volunteers who took part in the ‘Residents as Volunteers’ project.
  • The Big Lottery Fund who without their belief in funding innovative new areas of work through ‘Accelerating Ideas’ this project would not have been able to happen.
  • NCVO, our delivery partner, who provided the monitoring framework and associated evaluation reports.
  • The Project Steering Group who together provided support, guidance and expert advice.