Survey: Religious people volunteered more than general population in lockdown
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Survey: Religious people volunteered more than general population in lockdown

Faiths United-commissioned poll indicates that 72 percent of religious people helped the vulnerable with shopping, compared with 46 percent of the general population

Jenni Frazer is a freelance journalist

Faiths United at North Paddington food bank, with Karen Buck MP
Faiths United at North Paddington food bank, with Karen Buck MP

Religious people volunteered more before lockdown than the population at large, and are more likely to volunteer now that lockdown has eased, according to a new survey commissioned by Faiths United.

However, the polling found that during lockdown, the discrepancy between the propensity of regular worshippers to volunteer and the population at large reduced, as the country experienced a groundswell of altruism and civic-mindedness during the initial months of the pandemic.

Savanta ComRes interviewed 4,575 UK adults, aged 18 and over, last month. The respondents are not broken down by faith..

Before lockdown, religious people showed significantly higher rates of volunteering than the population as a whole, with 72 percent of religious people helping the vulnerable with shopping, compared with 46 percent of the general population. During lockdown, the difference disappeared, with the population as a whole stepping up their volunteering efforts.

In future, religious people say they are more likely to volunteer than the population as a whole.

Maurice Ostro OBE, chair of Faiths United, said: “These results show two heartening trends: firstly, that people of faith practise what they preach: outside a crisis, they are more likely to volunteer than the population at large. I’m also pleased that when the going gets tough, this difference was less evident and the sense of social responsibility was shared across the whole population”.

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