Scottish Household Survey

Scottish Household Survey – 2021

Volunteering Results
The Scottish Government published its Scottish Household Survey 2021 report

The formal volunteering participation rate is 27%, which is not statistically different compared to the flatline rate of 26% during the previous three years: 2018 – 2020.
Local community/neighbourhood volunteering continues its upward trend from 22% of volunteers in 2019, to 25% in 2020 and now 30% in 2021. This is likely to reflect the importance of community support during the height of COVID-19.

Volunteering in ‘youth and children’s activities’ outside school was the second most popular type of volunteering at 17% of adult volunteers, but it remains lower than the pre-pandemic level of 23% in 2019.
It is encouraging to see an increase in physical activity and sport volunteering to 16%, up from the 12% in 2020, and comparable to the pre-pandemic level of 15% in 2019. However, gender disparity remains with 21% of male volunteers involved in physical activity and sport volunteering compared to only 11% of female volunteers.

Key Findings

Disabled adults were less likely to volunteer than the non-disabled (23% vs. 29%), which maintains this long-term disparity in engagement. Interestingly, there were marked variations in the types of volunteering disabled adults engaged in:
Health, disability and wellbeing = 22% of disabled adults and 13% of non-disabled
Local community or neighbourhood = 37% of disabled adults and 28% of non-disabled.

Ethnicity – the main volunteering differential is between ‘white – other British’ at 34% and the other ethnic groups reported (‘white Scottish’ at 26%, ‘white – other’ at 28% and ‘minority ethnic’ at 26%). Interestingly, ‘white – other British’ volunteers are also more likely than other ethnic groups to be involved in ‘local community and neighbourhood’ volunteering at 36%.

Deprivation – unfortunately, the long-established variance in volunteering participation rates between adults in the most deprived communities (quintile 1) and the least deprived communities (quintile 5) remains (21% vs. 33% respectively).

Geography – again, the usual higher volunteering participation rate for those living in rural areas (33%) compared to those in urban areas (26%) remains. However, a striking finding is the much higher engagement of volunteers in rural areas supporting their local community/ neighbourhood (40%), compared to volunteers in urban areas (27%).

Age – there are some key variations by age cohort:
young adult volunteers aged 16-34 had a much lower participation in community/neighbourhood volunteering at 19% compared to adults aged 35-59 (32%) and those aged >60 (37%)
those aged >60 are much more heavily engaged in ‘religion and belief’ volunteering at 24% compared to those aged <60 (8% for those aged 16-34 and 11% for those aged 35-59)
22-23% of adult volunteers aged <60 support ‘youth/children’s activities outside school’, compared on to only 8% of those aged >60.