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UK News

People of faith more willing to volunteer before and after lockdown than non-religious people

by Tola Mbakwe

A new study suggests that those who practice a religion are more likely to volunteer their time to help others before and after lockdown, than those of no faith.

According to the research commissioned by charity Faiths United, 72 per cent of religious adults helped the vulnerable with shopping during lockdown, compared with 46 per cent of the general population.

The study of 4,575 Brits carried out by Savanta ComRes last month found the gap closed during the pandemic, showing that the UK population as a whole stepped up their volunteering efforts. 

However, 38 per cent of religious people say they are more likely to do the same after lockdown compared with 26 per cent of others.

The study showed similar trends with people making calls to check on family, friends, and others, as well as giving blood. 

Zaki Cooper from the charity told Premier there a couple of factors at play: 

"Helping people in need lies at the heart of all our religions. It lies at the heart of Christianity. That message is very central to the New Testament and all the scriptures and it lies at the heart of the various other holy books in their scriptures.

"But the second reason, aside from theology, is the infrastructure that faith communities provide. There are thousands of faith charities all over the UK.

"According to a survey a few years ago, there are 29,000 faith based charities in the UK. So faith communities do charities very well. If people want to volunteer, there are all these amazing charities from churches, mosques, synagogues, gurdwaras and temples that they can volunteer through."

The study also revealed that 36 per cent of regular worshippers didn't mind if the organisation they volunteered with was one of faith or not after lockdown. 

Listen to Premier's full interview with Zaki Cooper here: 

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