Volunteering plays a significant part in the lives of individuals and communities. 77% of adults in Wales give their time to help friends or neighbours or help with activities within an organisation. If we had to fund the contribution that volunteers make to public services and to the social fabric of Wales, it would cost the tax payer at least an extra £53 million per year.
Third sector organisations are often offer much better value for money than other sectors because of the added value they bring. This added value is multi faceted e.g. social, cultural, personal, physical. However, it also has an economic dimension. One example among many is transport. There are 17 Community Transport Schemes in Powys. Our very large and deeply rural context means that access to services is notoriously difficult and many people rely on their local dial-a-ride or taxi card scheme to get to surgeries, hospitals or to go shopping. It has been demonstrated that, due to the contribution of volunteers and the funding drawn down from other sources, Powys receives £1.3m worth of service via such schemes. The local authority’s contribution is £112k. This 12:1 return on investment is almost miraculous by anyone’s calculation!
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