ALICANTE Province has 32,000 volunteers spread across 469 registered associations.
At a time when unemployment and economic instability is rife, there has been an increase in the number of volunteers and many (41 per cent) volunteer to keep themselves occupied after being made redundant.
Data shows 70 per cent of volunteers are women, with an increase in the number of university graduates helping out. The University of Alicante has launched various programmes to promote volunteering.
Alejandro Perez, head of the Alicante volunteer centre, reported that although the numbers are increasing, there are still shortcomings in the sector with a lack of training for volunteers and lack of management within the associations: “The use of new technologies is also not being optimised to increase the visibility of associations.”
The volunteer centre was created in 2004 to address the needs of voluntary organisations and volunteers themselves. They want to strengthen the rights and duties of volunteers and promote collaboration among organisations.