Volunteers show little enthusiasm for the Big Society

People who are carrying out the aims of the Big Society by doing voluntary work show little enthusiasm for the Prime Minister’s idea, according to new research.

Dr Rose Lindsey and Dr Sarah Bulloch, of the Third Sector Research Centre at the University of Southampton, asked 62 people who are involved in voluntary work for their written opinions as part of the Mass Observation social research project. Of these, 31 were hostile to the Big Society, eight approved of it and the rest expressed no opinion. Few said they could do more volunteering.

The 62 people were either engaged in formal voluntary work with schools, hospitals, community groups or charities, or in additional work helping family, friends or neighbours regularly.

The 62 volunteers were part of a wider group of observers from across the UK invited to write their thoughts on the Big Society for the Mass Observation project, which aims to record everyday life in Britain using a panel of volunteer observers who write diaries or replies to questionnaires.

For further information on the research visit www.tsrc.ac.uk/NewsandEvents/VolunteersshowlittleenthusiasmforBigSociety/tabid/997/Default.aspx.