Volunteer receptionist helping guests

Benefits of Volunteering


We supported 740 young volunteers this year who have 61,270 hours of time across all our programmes: hostel placements, working holidays, supporting young people and in their local community. 

  • 850,000 young people aged 16-24 years are not in education, employment or training (NEET)
  • Young people from lower income families are less likely to volunteer
  • Participation in young development schemes is lower amongst young people from disadvantaged backgrounds

YHA makes a tangible difference to young people’s life chances by offering practical work experience that boosts CVs, increases confidence and develops improved communication skills.

This year 70% of young volunteers were new to YHA showing how relevant our opportunities are to young people today. 8 out of 10 young volunteers said their primary motivation for volunteering was to gain experience and skills for their CV.

Our research tells us that 94% improved their practical skills, 84% improved their social skills and 100% improved their communication skills, indicating the opportunities delivered the benefits young people were looking for.

Volunteering also improves well-being and our studies show that 94% grew in confidence, 88% were more confident in applying for jobs and 88% had a greater sense of well-being.

I am travelling a lot more and am more independent in my travel. It all comes from confidence gained through my summer camp experiences in 2015. I owe YHA quite a lot.

Laurence Perks, Summer Camp volunteer

When we apply a social value wellbeing calculation to volunteering this shows that YHA is responsible for £2.4m in terms of wellbeing benefits to volunteers. These are early indications from our consultants Jump and Simetrica, who are confident that the social value of YHA can only grow.

Find out more about our social value

Volunteering key outcomes

We found that 100% improved their communication, and 61,270 hours of volunteering from young people. £2.4 million in wellbeing benefits for volunteers delivered by YHA.

Could you help us do more for young volunteers?

Perhaps you work with young people who would benefit from a volunteering experience with YHA or you can help YHA reach new audiences? Perhaps your organisation could offer rewards or accreditation to our young volunteers?

Volunteer now