UK volunteering trend data

nfpSynergy have been tracking the proportion of the UK public that volunteer for over ten years. This report gives an overview of volunteering over time from as far back as 2003 up until August 2017.

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Some of the key findings of the report are:

  • Overall volunteering levels are fairly stable; however, individual waves show volatility, possibly due to a season increase over the summer.
  • The most interesting changes appear to be over age group and gender. 
  • 16-34 year old men are now one of the most likely groups to volunteer closely followed by women in the same age group.
  • Volunteering levels in both 45-54 year olds and 55-64 year olds have declined between 2012 and 2017. These age groups are those for whom no major initiatives exist to encourage volunteering.

Download the full report or view the summary on SlideShare.

European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018

During 2018, the European Union will celebrate the European Year of Cultural Heritage for the first time.

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This celebration of cultural heritage will coincide with the final phase of the SPAR Project's two years of work on curricula for culture volunteers in sparsely populated areas.


Cultural heritage is the fabric of our lives and societies. It surrounds us in the buildings of our towns and cities and is expressed through natural landscapes and archaeological sites.

It is not only made up of literature, art and objects but also by the crafts we learn, the stories we tell, the food we eat and the films we watch.

Cultural heritage brings communities together and builds shared understandings of the places we live in. The digital world too, is transforming the way we access heritage.

The European Year of Cultural Heritage aims to:

  • encourage people to explore Europe's rich and diverse cultural heritage
  • celebrate, understand and protect its unique value
  • reflect on the place that cultural heritage occupies in all our lives

European cultural heritage allows us to understand the past and to look to our future. By highlighting cultural heritage in 2018, we will emphasise:

  • how it builds stronger societies
  • how it creates jobs and prosperity
  • its importance for our relations with the rest of the world
  • what can be done to protect it

European Network of Cultural Centres: Conference

Artistic Processes and Cultural Participation-New Perspectives for Rural Development

25-27 October 2017, Hildesheim, Germany

The European Network of Cultural Centres is hosting its annual conference at the Centre for World Music in Hildesheim, Germany in October. The theme for the conference looks at cultural participation and rural development - subjects which are related to the current work of the SPAR Project.


In a context of globalisation, urbanisation and economic, political and social crisis, rural areas in Europe face specific and significant challenges.

Their vitality is nevertheless essential to the well-being and development of both rural and urban populations and regions. We need to re-think, at a local level, the models of sustainable development and resilience. Strengthening local stakeholders to connect, cooperate and imagine in a European perspective is at the heart of these challenges.

What role should cultural centres play in innovative, sustainable and place-based modes of development and local empowerment? How can we work towards a more a democratic and imaginative territorial governance, and contribute to interconnections between European territories?

See the full conference programme and book places on the ENCC website.

Creative Health

A major report in the UK has made recommendations for creative activities and health provision to be more closely integrated. The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Arts, Health & Wellbeing published its report this summer after two years of assessing the impact of activities including museum visits, dance classes and drama.

The report argues that participation in arts activities can help to save money and tackle long-term conditions.

Download the full Creative Health: The Arts for Health and Wellbeing.

Eurovision Choir of the Year 2017

The first annual Eurovision Choir of the Year competition took place in Riga, Latvia on 22 July 2017. The event brought nine choirs from across Europe together with Carmen Manet from Slovenia becoming the first winners of the competition.

The nine participating choirs, who each performed a six-minute set, were:

  • Hardchor Linz (Austria)
  • Les Pastoreaux (Belgium)
  • Academic Choir of Aarhus (Denmark)
  • Estonian TV Girls' Choir (Estonia)
  • Jazzchor Freiburg (Germany)
  • Spīgo (Latvia)
  • Carmen Manet (Slovenia)
  • Bela Bartok Male Choir (Hungary)
  • Côr Merched Sir Gâr (Wales)

For the full story on the event, see the Eurovision Choir of the Year website.

Cultural and Creative Cities Monitor

The European Commission's new 'Cultural and Creative Cities Monitor' shows how culture and creativity can help cities to thrive.

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Key findings of the research include:

  • Leading cultural and creative cities: compared to other cities with a similar population, Paris, Copenhagen, Edinburgh and Eindhoven perform better than their counterparts;
  • Cultural, creativity and prosperity: culture and creativity contribute to higher economic growth rates, and are crucial for low-income cities;
  • Size is not everything: the size of a city does not determine its performance in culture and creativity, as on average small and medium-sized cities score relatively well compared to larger ones;
  • Capitals fly high but not highest: even if capitals are often in the lead, they are outperformed in Austria, Belgium, Italy, Germany, Poland, Spain, the Netherlands and the UK.
 
 Click the image above to download the full report [PDF 4MB]

Click the image above to download the full report [PDF 4MB]