#VolunteersWeek: What are volunteers worth?


I volunteer for several local projects, but non has taken up more of my time of late than the Hub at Ashmore Park

I am a trustee of Ashmore Park Community Association the charity that runs the Hub. A building at the heart of Ashmore Park, that houses our library, our community cafe and a wealth of community activities – some that providers hire our space to deliver, and some that we run ourselves. The hub officially opened last September and we’ve been working hard to build capacity as out old building on had 2 usable rooms, and this one, well this one, has a whole lot more!

A few months ago I sat with a lady from Wolverhampton City Council to look at what our activities at the centre contributed to volunteering hours across Wolverhampton, we worked out time given by trustees, officers, committee members, sessional volunteers, group leaders and takes into account at least 3 events a year – which include open days, table top sales, Christmas events etc – we usually do more but 3 was a good place to start to average it all out.

Time and Money

After crunching the numbers and listing the volunteers and their roles we calculated that our average contribution is 19,350 hours per year

So over a 50 week year (allowing for christmas and bank holiday closures we average 387 per week.

That is insane!!

But that’s just time? What does that make us really worth financially?

After the lady from the council left I sat down to do some maths:

If minimum wage is £6.50 per hour then over the course of a year we would have earned £125,755 (6.5*387*50)but according the CDF (community development foundation) an unskilled volunteer for their match funding purposes is worth more than that, they have it calculated at £11.09 per hour.

So with that in mind I started my sums over, even if we were all unskilled volunteers – which we’re not – as a group of volunteers we’re worth £214,591.50 


Real Worth?

As impressive as that all is, at the end of the day they’re just numbers on a white board, so, What are we really worth?

You don’t have to look far to see the answer.

Just ask the community we serve. Our community that without our volunteering wouldn’t have a Hub to use at all!

We wouldn’t have fun days or sports facilities, wouldn’t have friendship groups and craft classes, wouldn’t have fish n chip suppers or a youth club, wouldn’t have all the myriad of things we have going on in out little hub and our community would be a lot less connected, a lot more unhappy and a lot more lonely with out us.