We’re pleased to see that the Centre for Ageing Better will lead a review into how to enable more people aged 50 and over to contribute their time, skills and experience to their communities.

The review will focus particularly on how to increase voluntary and community activity among underrepresented groups, such as people on low incomes and those with long-term health conditions. Older people in these groups can face particular challenges to taking part, and the review will explore how best to tackle these barriers.

Calls for evidence

The review will involve calls for evidence from people with direct experience of volunteering in later life, as well as practitioners and researchers. 

People aged 50 and over already make a significant voluntary contribution to their communities and society. As well as the obvious benefits to communities of more people contributing their time, skills and experience, Ageing Better’s research shows that taking part in voluntary community activity in later life improves people’s own social connections, sense of purpose and self-esteem and life satisfaction.  Where people in later life feel valued and appreciated in their formal volunteering roles, there is evidence to suggest this contributes to reduced depression.

However, older people in lower income groups, or with long-term health conditions, are much less likely to take part – even though the evidence suggests that they have the most to gain in terms of wellbeing.

And, while there has been significant government and voluntary sector attention on encouraging young people to volunteer, including disadvantaged young people, there has been little focus on supporting the involvement of people in later life.

Read more about the review

Get in touch with: VolunteeringReview@ageing-better.org.uk

See our Wisdom in Practice resources. These have been developed by Outside the Box through a project to encourage and support the development of services led by older people.. The accessible resources created offer hints & tips aimed at older people around how to create successful groups, be part of the process and keep these diverse and inclusive.