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Volunteers from Assist, one of the shortlisted organisations, which supports destitute asylum seekers
Volunteers from Assist, one of the shortlisted organisations, which supports destitute asylum seekers

Volunteers give millions to city

23 November 2016

A report into the voluntary sector in Sheffield has shown benefits to the city worth hundreds of millions of pounds.

Research undertaken this year has shown how the city’s 3,300 voluntary and community groups benefit the city to the estimated value of £810 million each year.

Most of this benefit comes through the time people invest, with more than 17,000 paid staff supported by 89,600 volunteers and 22,700 committee members. The volunteer time adds up to more than 261,600 hours each week, with people working in voluntary and community groups across the city.

The research found that the groups deliver 7.2 million ‘interventions’ each year to help clients, users and people who benefit from their services.

Their efforts are being recognised as Voluntary Action Sheffield hosts the city’s first ‘Make a Difference Awards’ celebration and ceremony tomorrow (on Thursday 24 November) at the Cutler’s Hall, with awards to be presented by Jessica Ennis-Hill.

Maddy Desforges, Chief Executive of Voluntary Action Sheffield, said: “We are holding the awards to recognise the huge amount of valuable work that is being done by so many quiet heroes in the voluntary sector. And this isn’t just “do-goodery”. There is a real value to the work being done and which covers a wide range of activities – education, care, work in the environment, with young people and more. It touches every aspect of life in the city.

“These are things that make our lives better, and make Sheffield a better place to live. But there is also an economic impact with the research finding that the sector benefits the city to the value of £810 million every single year.”

Councillor Jack Scott, Cabinet Member for Community Services and Libraries at Sheffield City Council, said: “We’re fortunate to have a strong voluntary sector in Sheffield which benefits the city massively. I’d like to thank the tens of thousands of people who contribute to making a difference.

“I am determined that the council continues to do everything it can to help boost voluntary and community groups even further and look forward to seeing their excellent work recognised at the awards ceremony.”

Visit www.vas.org.uk/awards for information about the Make a Difference Awards 2016.

The research was commissioned by Voluntary Action Sheffield and Sheffield City Council, and carried out by Sheffield Hallam University. Visit www4.shu.ac.uk/research/cresr/reports for more information.