Her Majesty’s Government welcomes the findings of the report and its contribution to our understanding of civil society during the pandemic. As documented, the scale and breadth of the volunteer response over the last year has been remarkable; as the study estimated, 12.4 million people volunteered during the pandemic, 4.6 million of them volunteering for the first time. Government would like to express its gratitude to all those who volunteered for their contributions, whether through continuing or taking up a formal role with an organisation, or national schemes such as the NHS Volunteer Responders programme, or the extraordinary 2.5 million people who undertook local acts of neighbourliness as coordinated through over 4,000 mutual aid groups. Undoubtedly our experience of the pandemic would have been very different without them.
As outlined by the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, our approach to the government's role in volunteering is as a steward, enabling further unlocking of the potential within the volunteering sector as we seek to build a volunteering legacy from this challenging time.
To meet this ambition, DCMS is developing policy with a focus on simplifying the routes into volunteering, how volunteering supply and demand can be best matched and leveraging government’s links with the voluntary and community sector for strategic collaboration. Developing solutions to address the barriers facing those who wish to volunteer in their local community will be an integral element of our work.
Beyond this, the Government continues to celebrate and champion extraordinary individuals who volunteer across the United Kingdom through the Prime Minister’s daily Points of Light Awards, and remains committed to promoting the benefits of volunteering both to personal wellbeing and community cohesion.