Foresters UK says that The Big Society still exists

Despite recent press coverage that says the Government’s flagship policy The Big Society is failing, independent research shows that our Nation are taking an active role in their communities - by volunteerism.

The study, commissioned by Foresters UK - part of the international mutual with nearly 1 million worldwide members – reveals that people are still community-orientated:

  • 43% of respondents said that, time constraints notwithstanding, they like to “do their bit” by volunteering on an ongoing basis, such as at a hospice or charity shop;
  • 17% give time to raise funds by sponsored activities;
  • 10% give time on a one-off basis, such as at a charity event.

The research also revealed that just 5% of people don’t give to charity, with the rest of the population volunteering and / or making a difference by donating and buying from charity shops and / or making cash donations.

With the country still in the grip of economic crisis, 6% of those questioned said that although they will be giving less money to charity this year, they will try and help in some other way, such as volunteering – proving that community spirit is still there.

Time is an issue for volunteers, with 52% of people of retirement age being more likely to volunteer than the younger age groups. However, nearly a quarter of those in the 21-30 age bracket are more likely to give time to raise funds via sponsored activities.

Stephen Dilworth, UK Membership Director of Foresters says: “Despite the press surrounding The Big Society, our heartening research shows that people are still committed to helping. 44% of those questioned said that while they could not afford financially to help charities, they could help by giving their time.

“At a time where we are all reading that times are tough and people are having to cut back, the research shows that while there may not be a lot of extra money floating around, people are still finding budget-friendly yet still very effective ways to support good causes."

Ends

Research:

Over 2,000 people across the UK responded to an online survey between 27 February and 15 March 2012. This was conducted by Wriglesworth Research.

Contact:

For more information on Foresters and the Wriglesworth Consultancy contact: Lee Blackwell on 02074271413 or l.blackwell@wriglesworth.com

About Foresters:

At Foresters we believe in enriching the lives of our members, their families and the communities they live in. We’re member-based, family-focused, and community spirited.

Our products benefit both your family and your community. We champion the well-being of families through quality financial products, unique member benefits and inspiring community activities.

We share our financial strength with more than 945,000 members across the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States. Throughout our 135-year history, our purpose has been to enrich the lives of members, their families and communities. The priorities remain today and will guide our future.

As an example, our work with Cash for Kids in their 2011 Christmas Toy Appeal helped 215,000 children to have a better Christmas and 600,000 toys and gifts were delivered to needy children.  Our support for UK children’s hospices has helped these organisations to provide a range of services to nearly 10,000 families.

Forester Life has funds under management of £850m* and is part of Foresters, the international financial services organisation.
 

Internationally, Foresters has over £10bn* funds under management and has been assigned an 'A' excellent rating by A.M. Best.**

Safeguarding our members' interests is at the heart of what we do. Being financially strong and responsive, with sound governance and continuing professional service have always helped us to protect our members' benefits.
 

*As at 31 December 2011

**An ‘A’ excellent rating is assigned to companies that have a strong ability to meet their ongoing obligations to policyholders and have, on balance, excellent balance sheet strength, operating performance and business profile when compared to the standards established by A.M. Best Company. In assigning Foresters rating A.M. Best stated that Foresters outlook rating is ‘stable’, which means it is unlikely to change in the near future, assuming Foresters financial strength is maintained and operations grow. A.M. Best assigns rating from A++ to F, A++ being superior and A and A- being excellent ratings. This rating was assigned on 30th December 2010. Our International Head Office is located at 789 Don Mills Road, Toronto, Canada M3C 1T9. 


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About Us

At Foresters we believe in enriching the lives of our members, their families and the communities they live in. We’re member-based, family-focused, and community spirited. We champion the well-being of families through quality financial products, unique member benefits and inspiring community activities. We share our financial strength with over one million members across the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States. Throughout our 140-year history, our purpose has been to enrich the lives of members, their families and communities. The priorities remain today and will guide our future. As an example, our work with Cash for Kids in their 2014 Mission Christmas Appeal helped nearly 300,000 children to have a better Christmas. The whole campaign raised over £9m and involved 2,660 Foresters volunteers. Together with other charity partners we helped over half a million disadvantaged children in 2014. Forester Life is responsible for funds under management of nearly £3.3bn* and is part of Foresters, the international financial services organisation. Internationally, Foresters has over £15.7bn* funds under management and has been assigned an 'A' excellent rating by A.M. Best.** Safeguarding our members' interests is at the heart of what we do. Being financially strong and responsive, with sound governance and continuing professional service have always helped us to protect our members' benefits. *As at 31st December 2014 **An ‘A’ excellent rating is assigned to companies that have a strong ability to meet their ongoing obligations to policyholders and have, on balance, excellent balance sheet strength, operating performance and business profile when compared to the standards established by A.M. Best Company. In assigning Foresters rating A.M. Best stated that Foresters outlook rating is ‘stable’, which means it is unlikely to change in the near future, assuming Foresters financial strength is maintained and operations grow. A.M. Best assigns rating from A++ to F, A++ being superior and A and A- being excellent ratings. This rating was assigned on 2nd July 2013. Our International Head Office is located at 789 Don Mills Road, Toronto, Canada M3C 1T9. DAC Ref No. 2014272/FM/OT 04/16

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Quick facts

43% of respondents said that, time constraints notwithstanding, they like to “do their bit” by volunteering on an ongoing basis, such as at a hospice or charity shop
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17% give time to raise funds by sponsored activities
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• 10% give time on a one-off basis, such as at a charity event
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Quotes

Despite the press surrounding The Big Society, our heartening research shows that people are still committed to helping
Stephen Dilworth, UK Membership Director, Foresters
44% of those questioned said that while they could not afford financially to help charities, they could help by giving their time
Stephen Dilworth, UK Membership Director, Foresters