A Nation Of Heroes: Why Do The Brits Love Volunteering So Much?

Do you know someone in your local community or friendship group that volunteers? I bet you do. We Brits are a nation of volunteers and some of our greatest British institutions are charity and volunteering organisations. One thing we fail to do however is reward them for their hard work – do you know a Volunteering Everyday Hero? Nominate them here and they could win two free flights to any destination of their choice.

Did you know that the Institute for Volunteering Research estimates that around 21.6m people in the UK volunteered at least once last year, and 13.8m people volunteer regularly. When asked why people volunteer by charity group Helping Out, only 7% of respondents said getting help in their career was the main factor behind their decision to volunteer. Almost all of those surveyed (97% of respondents) said they got “satisfaction from seeing these results and a further 96% said they really enjoyed it.” Nice!

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Some Very British Volunteers

From the British Red Cross to Oxfam and Barnardo’s, Britain is renowned for its volunteer programmes. Even the royals enjoy volunteering from Queen Victoria to Princess Diana. See some of the most famous British volunteer heroes listed below:

Agatha Christie, the crime novelist volunteered for the British Red Cross during WWI. Much of her experience formed the backbone of her work, including her encyclopaedic knowledge of poisons. She fitted writing in between volunteering.

David Beckham, one of the most famous names of British football, volunteered over the years. He recently launched his charity 7: The David Beckham UNICEF Fund to raise awareness for “at risk” children. He is proud to tell his children of his work and get them involved, making volunteering a family affair.

Jamie Oliver, this celebrity chef extraordinaire has campaigned tirelessly in the UK and globally to ensure young people are educated about cooking and nutrition. His famous Food Plan has been implemented by schools across the UK. He has truly gone above and beyond in helping people eat better.

Orlando Bloom has been involved in voluntary work with UNICEF since 2007. He first traveled to Nepal to visit schools in the country’s poorest regions. He became a Goodwill Ambassador in 2009 thanks to his tireless efforts. He has also traveled to Moscow, Sarajevo and Jordan with his global volunteer work.

So, Where Have All the Heroes Gone?

If you are wondering where all the heroes have gone, just look around the office. A quick sampling of our office reveals everyone in the office has given freely of their time at some point. Our PR man, David Jinks helped out with a kid’s drama group and famously volunteered with National Trust to help cut back roads in Brownsea Island. With creativity and energy being central to a volunteer’s makeup, it’s no surprise that all of our marketing team has helped out locally. Our marketing manager, Tom used to volunteer at an animal shelter as a teenager and later helped out at Revitalise in Southport, a holiday home for disabled people. The rest of us have all volunteered in schools. Suzannah volunteered for a special needs drama workshop, while Richard spent six months teaching history a local catholic school in his village. We are a nice bunch really.

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What Makes a Great Volunteer Hero?

This everyday hero rallies the troops, coordinates projects and make things happen. Their “can-do” attitude is infectious. They inspire, lead, help and motivate, but often they aren’t thanked enough. It’s these dependable men and women that organisations, trusts and charities couldn’t do without. Whether it’s your local volunteer fireman or constable, you know you can count on these heroes. The roles vary, but the job description is the same—tireless and selfless work to better the community and world.

Do you know someone that fits that description? It’s time to recognise that person. Entering is simple. All you have to do is share your hero’s story. You may already have a profile ready. If so, just copy and paste it into our awards page. Don’t forget to get colleagues friends and the community involved. The more votes, the greater chance your hero has at winning two free flights to any destination in the world. Runner-up prizes include our bespoke “experience days”, where your hero can relax and unwind in an exclusive spa or retreat.

It’s time to nominate your volunteer hero. But before you enter, please make sure your entry abides by our official rules, found here.

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