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City Year UK brings together young people from diverse backgrounds to serve for a year in disadvantaged communities as tutors, mentors and role models for at-risk pupils. They offer one-to-one, tailored support to help the pupils overcome the emotional and social challenges they face on a day-to-day basis from Monday to Thursday, with Fridays spent at a training academy.

First established in Boston, Massachusetts in 1988, City Year operates in 27 cities across America, as well as Johannesburg in South Africa. City Year UK launched in London in 2010 and has since expanded to the West Midlands and Greater Manchester.

With a firm belief that full-time volunteering has potential to be successfully scaled up, the charity approached Pro Bono Economics to assess the economic case for expanding full-time volunteering in the UK, providing economic analysis to inform the Government’s independent review. Helen Dunn, Paul Gower and Mark Graham are the authors of this report, with help from Munazzah Naeem, a statistician volunteering through “Pro Bono Impact,” a joint PBE and Royal Statistical Society project. The report builds on previous analysis carried out by Guillermo Felices and was peer reviewed by Stephen Gibson. We would like to thank all parties for their involvement in the project.

Findings from the report show that annual total net benefits of a full-time volunteer programme for young people might be between £28 and £119 million to the UK economy (i.e. a cost benefit ratio of 1.2 to 1.6). These figures are based on a series of assumptions concerning the operating costs that might pertain to a 10,000 volunteer scheme, and the benefits to the volunteer and organisations they are placed with.

James Probert spoke on behalf of City Year UK at PBE’s celebration of volunteering event on the 7th of November, affirming his belief that City Year UK’s work with Pro Bono Economics will play a key role in creating a 'voluntary national service' legal status. Regardless of the current political climate, James stated “this isn’t a one or two-year gain – Britain needs this, and we will need it in 2022 as well.”

16th November 2017