Search vInspired


v publishes a wide range of research reports linked to youth volunteering and young people

A full list of our 2010/11 research projects can be found below, or scroll down for a summary of each. For older reports, please view our Research Archive.

The Road to Volunteering

In partnership with CFE (July 2011)
Abigail Diamond, Hayley Lamb, Elizabeth Davies and Sophie Spong

A new report from v and employment and skills research specialists CFE exploring the role of Jobcentre Plus (JCP) and Information, Advice and Guidance (IAG) advisers in promoting and signposting volunteering to young people aged 16-25. Based on a survey of 105 JCP advisers and 132 IAG advisers, a literature review, in-depth stakeholder interviews and ‘hotspot’ research with IAG advisers and service users, the report identifies that there is widespread recognition of the benefits of volunteering for young people as part of a personalised support service, and that advisers strongly agree that volunteering can positively impact on young people’s skills and employability. However, it also finds that advisers often have to ‘sell’ the benefits of volunteering to clients, and that many advisers themselves have a varied understanding of the rules and regulations in the DWP guidelines, suggesting that there are still improvements that could be made to understanding and communication.

Experience Required: A Demos and v report on capability building and work-readiness

In partnership with Demos (May 2011)
Matt Grist and Phillida Cheetham

An innovative new piece of research by v and Demos investigates the role that long term volunteering can play in developing young people's capabilities and helping them to engage with education and/or successfully enter the labour market.

The report uses evidence gathered from young people engaged in the vtalent year programme to demonstrate the positive impact that long term volunteering can have on personal qualities such as confidence and empathy, and outcomes such as feeling positive about the future.

The report recommends that there be a wider variety of opportunities for young people to gain experience that prepares them for further learning or work.

Measuring the Impossible? - Making a Start: Exploring the impact of youth volunteering through existing longitudinal research data

In partnership with NFER (May 2011)
Joana Lopes, David Kerr and Julie Nelson

An Executive Summary of the key findings and recommendations arising from a study into the long term impacts of youth volunteering.

In the context of the coalition Government's 'Big Society' vision for civic and community involvement in society,v and its partners seek to enhance the knowledge base for volunteering and facilitate greater discussion amongst policy-makers, researchers and practitioners.

This report follows on from the original scoping study into the potential for longitudinal research, conducted by v withIVR, NatCen and Birkbeck

Volunteering: Supporting Transitions

In partnership with IES (May 2011)
Becci Newton, Joy Oakley and Emma Pollard

A report exploring the unique contribution fo volunteering to the development of employability skills and attributes, networks and contacts, qualifications and accreditation, and the relief of the negative consequences of unemployment or inactivity.
Based on longitudinal, qualititative data, the research found that volunteering helped young people to develop hard skills, enhance their CV and gain a valuable insight into future career paths. The high levels of support volunteers received and the personal attributes that volunteering helped them to develop also translated into improved understanding of individual potential and overcoming barriers.

The research found that the majority of young people transitioned to learning or employment following volunteering.

Measuring the impossible? Scoping Study for Longitudinal Research on the Impact of Youth Volunteering

In partnership with IVR, NatCen andBirkbeck (November 2010)

This research explores how to effectively measure and track the long term impacts of youth volunteering through longitudinal research. The research includes an extensive literature review; interviews with experts in longitudinal research; and deliberative workshops with the youth volunteering sector, policy sector and young people. The consortium proposes three cost-effective recommendations to improve measuring and communicating the long term impacts of volunteering with young people.

To read the report summary click here or on the front cover image

To read the full report click here

Bursting the Bubble: Students, Volunteering and the Community Research Summary

In partnership with NCCPE (November 2010)
Georgina Brewis, Jennifer Russell and Clare Holdsworth

A major new study published by vinspired students and the National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement confirms the significant contribution of student volunteers in shaping the way universities engage with communities and civic life. In one of the largest studies of student volunteering in England to date - involving over 8,000 students and graduates and across six universities - this research reveals that universities are making a major contribution to society through their student volunteers.

To read the report summary click here or on the front cover image
To read the full report click here

vtalent year

August 2010

A scheme aimed at giving 2,000 volunteers aged 16-25 the opportunity to directly influence and enhance public sector services and gain skills to improve their employability.

vtalent year offers high quality structured placements, lasting up to 44 weeks and leading to a minimum of a level 2 qualification. It also offers personal development grants of up to £1,500 for young volunteers on completion of the programme.

A summary of the impacts of vtalent year suggest that it provides effective pathways into work and education for young volunteers completing the programme. The summary draws upon data from v's end of year reports, monitoring information, and a survey of young people completing the programme in 2010. We found that young people report that vtalent year supported their personal development, enabling them to develop new skills, networks, friendships and encouraged civic engagement.

Young People Omnibus 2010: young people and volunteering

In partnership with Ipsos MORI
(January - April 2010)

A report investigating attitudes towards volunteering among young people.

This research was conducted amongst 11-16 year olds sampled from secondary schools, and aimed to look at attitudes towards volunteering among young people. The survey focussed particularly on what types of volunteering young people would like to get involved in, what would encourage them to volunteer, and what they perceived as the best thing about volunteering. The responses were varied, but crucially it found that nearly all young people said they would like to get involved in some type of volunteering.

Anatomy of Youth

In partnership with Demos (April 2010).
Celia Hanon, Charlie Timms.

A report looking at a generation is creating social change to address the challenges young people face in the next decade.

This research looks at the attitudes, power and influence of young people in policy development. Based on an analysis of 16-25 year olds and some of the key trends they are living through, the research outlines five new challenges facing young people in the next decade including: how to adapt to climate change; living and caring in fluid families; how to own a digital identity; belonging to changing communities; and how to be an effective citizen. The research brings together new essays from Zygmunt Bauman, danah boyd, Peter Madden, Katherine Rake and Stuart White; data from v's Voicebox; and portraits of young people to reveal a generation that is creating social change rather than just experiencing it.


In partnership with Sidekick Studios and Dubit
(October 2009)

An interactive and innovative insight project using social media to discover young people's views on a range of current issues.

Voicebox is v's online youth insight project. Voicebox uses innovative and interactive social media to discover young people's views on everything from crime to the community. Young people complete online polls around a series of themes. To begin each theme we've taken the views of a representative sample of 1,000 16-25 year olds in the UK, and then a much larger, but unrepresentative, group of 8,273 young peope have also participated in the Voicebox project overall.


Search about section