New research by Brighton and Hove Community Works shows the high value of Brighton and Hove’s third sector. The sector is growing with about 2,300 charities, voluntary organisations and community groups currently in operation. These organisations provide about 6,900 jobs in the local area. The organisations have a combined annual income of about £73 million, most of which is spent in the local area creating further economic benefits resulting in a £127 million annual contribution to the local economy.
As well as economic benefit, the organisations provide a great social value with most aiming to empower people to improve their quality of life and bring people together. The thriving sector is turning Brighton and Hove into a city of volunteers. There are 27,600 volunteer positions in this sector and, in addition, the vast majority of the 13,800 positions on management committees and boards are filled by volunteers. The report estimates that this translates into a whopping 5,740,800 hours spent volunteering every year in Brighton.
Regular volunteering of course, as the report noted, has a great social impact in terms of the wellbeing of the actual volunteers. They benefit from an opportunity to make new friends, improve their employability and engage with the local community. The analysis did not attempt to put a value on this, but we know from our work with HACT on social impact that this is a really important additional benefit. The average wellbeing value associated with regular volunteering has been calculated at £2,357 per person, applying this value to all of the 27,600 volunteer positions (excluding the 13,000 management positions) it has an additional annual social impact of £65 million.