The evidence suggests that contributing to your community, whether through formal or informal forms of volunteering or acts of neighbourliness, bring a host of benefits to both communities and individuals. It is also the case that those most likely to benefit are often the least likely to take part. The evidence suggests that the healthier and wealthier you are, the more likely you are to undertake formal volunteering, but our research in four places in the UK also showed that there is a wealth of hidden, informal contributions being carried out in some of the most disadvantaged communities which is not always counted or supported.
This presentation will provide an overview of the centre for Ageing Better’s evidence on community contributions in later life, from an evidence review, a national series of roundtables and call for practice, as well as primary research in four communities in the UK. It will outline the benefits as well as who is missing out, and set out some of the key barriers for different groups of older people. It will also identify good practice and ask what we can all do differently to better support more people in later life to continue to contribute their talents and time for as long as possible