The Big Help Out to return next year

Charity

The Big Help Out volunteering event will return over a three-day period in early June 2024, organisers have announced. 

The event, which first took place on the bank holiday Monday after the King and Queen’s coronation in May this year, will be held from 7-9 June to coincide with the end of Volunteers’ Week. 

Organisers hope that including a working Friday as one of the days will encourage more businesses and schools to take part. 

An estimated 7.2 million people participated in the inaugural The Big Help Out, where more than 30,000 charities offered 55,000 events for volunteers as part of an effort to encourage more people to volunteer.

Research conducted among voluntary sector organisations that took part found that slightly more than one-third of the people who volunteered as part of the day have done so again with the same organisation. 

Four out of five of those who took part had no prior relationship with the organisation or cause they signed up for, while 40 per cent said they had done no other volunteering in the previous year, the research found.

The event is backed by a group of 30 major charities that are part of the Shaping the Future with Volunteering group, including the British Red Cross, Cats Protection, National Trust, RNLI, St John Ambulance and The Trussell Trust. 

The Big Help Out is being supported with £300,000 of funding from the Department for Culture, Media & Sport, with some additional funds being provided by the retailer Asda. 

All charities will be offered the opportunity to upload volunteering opportunities to The Big Help Out app, with organisers hoping that even more organisations will sign up to take part next year. 

Matt Hyde, chief executive of the Scouts and co-founder of The Big Help Out, said the event was a “hugely exciting opportunity to turn the dial on volunteering”. 

He said: “We were bowled over by how many people took part in The Big Help Out in 2023 and told us they were inspired to volunteer in the future.

“In 2024 we will extend to three days to make it easier for schools and businesses to get involved. 

“We also plan to target communities who were less likely to take part in traditional volunteering.”

Jon Knight, chief executive of the community building charity Together, which is helping to organise the event, said: “We are so excited to announce plans for The Big Help Out 2024. 

“In our second year we are making this a long weekend, giving schools, workplaces and businesses the chance to get involved in the working week, while having two weekend days so millions can get take part in their spare time as well.

“The Big Help Out 2023 surpassed our wildest expectations, proving once again that if we can provide the opportunities to get involved and help our communities, we know the British people will grab them with both hands.”

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