Inclusion and Diversity in volunteering

It is important volunteering reflects the diversity in society. Volunteering needs to be inclusive, equitable and accssible.

This can be done through making volunteering practice more inclusive;  recognising the contribution and benefits to services, beneficiaries and community cohesion.  A volunteering programme that embraces diversity and inclusion and values difference will be more effective and relevant to more people.

Being inclusive is about equity and should be one of the building blocks of volunteering and not a bolt on to normal practice. Having inclusive practice means embedded in your service means all volunteers will feel the benefits.

Benefits of a diverse volunteer team

Though volunteers themselves are not covered by equal opportunities legislation it is in your organisations’ interest to take equal opportunities and diversity seriously.

There are many advantages of a diverse team. These include:

  • The creation of a more positive and inclusive profile and public image
  • Being representative of the wider society by the involvement of volunteers from different social, cultural and ethnic backgrounds
  • Being more able to understand and respond to the needs of your local community
  • New ideas and fresh approaches generated by people from different backgrounds and with different outlooks
  • A broader range of skills and abilities
  • Helps your volunteers to be role models which will encourage others from similar groups to volunteer and help increase their aspirations
  • More confidence in working with service users from diverse backgrounds
  • Enhance awareness within the organisation as a whole
  • Eligibility for wider sources of funding

Additional guidance is available on our Inclusion pages

Examples of diversity

  • Race
  • Culture
  • National origin
  • Region
  • Gender
  • Sexual orientation
  • Age
  • Marital status
  • Politics
  • Religion
  • Faith
  • Ethnicity
  • Disability
  • Socio-economic differences
  • Family structure
  • Health
  • Values