New research on how the nation spends its time reveals how activities such as playing computer games or surfing the internet could benefit communities. (Research published Wednesday 17th August 2005).
The Great British Time Survey, conducted by ICM and commissioned by CSV Make a Difference Day and Barclays, shows how people spend their time and how everyone has skills that can benefit others, including computer games fanatics who can take their games into hospitals to entertain children, and internet junkies who could teach IT skills to elderly people or become an e-mentor.
The CSV Make a Difference Day research reveals:
. 24% of 18-24 year olds spend at least one hour every day playing computer games
. 55% of 18-24 year olds spend at least one hour every day surfing the internet
. 42% of 18-24 year olds spend at least two hours a week dating
. 90% of the population spend two or more hours a week watching TV
. 55% of the population spend two or more hours a week gardening
. 87% of women spend at least one hour a week shopping, compared to 76% of men
. 49% of men spend at least two hours a week doing DIY, compared to just 26% of women
. 21% of the population spend two or more hours a week walking the dog
. 79% of over 65s spend more than one hour a week making cups of tea
. 11% of over 65s spend more than one hour a week gambling
The survey asked people if they volunteered, and if not, why. The most common reason given was shortage of time (68%), while many did not think they had the right skills (44%).
"People spend a lot of time every week in activities which involve skills that could be translated into volunteering," said TV's Gladeana McMahon, who provides life coaching to celebrities, politicians and senior business people. "For example TV addicts could use the tips they learn from make over shows to renovate a community centre, shopaholics could help a disabled person with their retails needs, dog lovers could walk dogs for elderly or terminally ill people, tea drinkers could organise intergenerational tea parties and gamblers could be helping children with numeracy skills."
"Getting involved in activities such as creating a community garden, or renovating a community centre, is also a way to meet new people, and perhaps even find Mr or Miss Right. And in addition to finding love, the community gets a face lift."
"This research reveals that people are not always aware of what they have to give," said Rachael Barber Head of Community Affairs, Barclays. "Last year 14,000 members of our staff got involved in CSV Make a Difference Day in many different ways. Not only is it a lot of fun and hugely rewarding, but it is an excellent way of developing existing skills and learning new ones."
The group least likely to volunteer were 18-24 year olds. Nearly three quarters (73%) said they didn't have time to volunteer and nearly half (46%) said they were not interested. However the survey shows they have a lot to give:
. Nearly a quarter (24%) of 18-24 year olds spend at least one hour a week playing computer games
. Over half (55%) spend at least one hour a day on the internet
. Over half (56%) spend at least one hour a week playing sports or going to the gym
Anna Gilmour from CSV Make a Difference Day, which is a flagship event during the Year of the Volunteer, said: "The campaign is encouraging young people to use their passions to help other people. For example computer game junkies could go into hospitals and play games with children to keep their mind off other things, internet enthusiasts could share their skills with older people or become an e-mentor and sporty types could arrange a football game for disadvantaged young people or register to become a volunteer at the 2012 Olympics."
CSV Make a Difference Day, which takes place this year on Saturday 29th October 2005, and is an opportunity for people to try volunteering to see if they enjoy it. It is the biggest single day of volunteering and is about giving time, not money. To find out more call FREEPHONE 0800 284533 or visit the website - www.csv.org.uk/difference
*Further press information contact: CSV Make a Difference Day Press Office on 020 7812 0035/020 7812 0039. Alternatively email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Out of office hours call 07981 591150.
*Latest press releases: www.csv.org.uk/press
*Notes for editors
1. The Great British Time Survey was commissioned by CSV Make a Difference Day and Barclays and conducted by ICM. ICM Research interviewed a random sample of 1015 adults aged 18+ by telephone between 1-2 June 2005. Interviews were conducted across the country and the results have been weighted to the profile of all adults. ICM is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Further information at www.icmresearch.co.uk
2. A range of case studies illustrating how people use their passions to benefit others are available, including students who read newspapers to the blind, animal lovers who walk dogs for the terminally ill, cyclists who coach children in road safety and people who knit jumpers for penguins to protect them from oil slicks.
3. Gladeana McMahon has acted as psychological adviser to shows such Model Behaviour, The Club, Home Alone 14, Melting Pot, Shattered, Big Brother, Fashanu's Football Challenge, Desperately Seeking Sheila, Bad Lads Army and That'll Teach Them Too. Her new series, "Dial a Mum" starts 5th September on ITV1.
4. CSV Make a Difference Day takes place on Saturday 29 October 2005, and activities take part a week either side. Nearly 100,000 people are expected to give time rather than money to improve their local community. The campaign is organised by CSV (Community Service Volunteers) and supported by Barclays community investment programme and the Home Office Active Communities Directorate.
5. CSV (Community Service Volunteers) is the UK's leading volunteering and training organisation and creates opportunities for people to play an active part in the life of their community through volunteering, training and community action. Each year 164,000 people give 4.1 million hours of their time as volunteers through CSV.
6. Year of the Volunteer 2005 is owned by volunteers, led by a partnership between Community Service Volunteers (CSV) and the Volunteering England Consortium, and supported by the Home Office. To find out more about events and activities during the Year of the Volunteer 2005, please visit the official website at www.yearofthevolunteer.org
7. Barclays PLC actively encourages employee involvement through its Employee Volunteering grant giving, Volunteer 2day time giving and £ for £ match-funding schemes, as well as encouraging the wider public to do the same through supporting flagship projects such as CSV Make a Difference Day and Barclays Spaces for Sports.
8. "We actively encourage our employees to give their time and effort to local charities, urban regeneration, fundraising and all forms of volunteering. We are proud of their efforts and not a little humbled by them." Matt Barrett, Group Chairman.
9. Over 20,000 Barclays employees from around the world took part in community activities in 2004. Nearly 14,000 Barclays employees took part in Make a Difference Day activities alone, including staff in Africa and Spain. Volunteering projects ranged from mentoring, clearing beaches to gardening, painting and decorating.
10. Barclays takes its social and environmental responsibilities seriously, supporting social and financial inclusion both nationally and at grass roots level to make a real and lasting difference to the community. In 2004 the bank continued to be one of the UK's top corporate contributors, making a global commitment of £31.9m and one in three Barclays employees volunteered for their local communities.
11. For further information see social responsibility at http://www.barclays.com. Media enquiries contact: Sarah Davis, Sponsorship PR Manager, Barclays PLC on 020 7116 6095.