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Philanthropy is a Cornish way of life. From the benevolent tales of Cornish saints like St Petroc and St Buryan, to the Fox family of Falmouth creating the first incarnation of i-Sight Cornwall, kindness runs deep here. Volunteering in Cornwall has a rich history. Following the increase in phthisis, a local philanthropist founded a voluntary hospital for sick miners in 1864.

Philanthropists of Cornwall

Firstly, the saints created kindness and mythologies of care. Next came Robert Stephen Hawker, who gave compassionate send offs to Cornish fishermen. Thomasine Bonaventure and Elizabeth Carne gave Cornwall schooling. John Passmore Edwards funded libraries. With a long history of philanthropy, Cornwall is now home to over 2500 charities. And we see the spirit of this kindness in Cornwall every day.

Volunteering in Cornwall makes you feel better

Recently, we have seen a growing interest in using kindness as an intervention to make you feel better. Helping others also help us. Helping creates communities. Firstly, it gives us a sense of belonging. Nationally, 1 in 5 adults volunteered when the pandemic hit. In Cornwall, this figure is far higher at 72%! Secondly, volunteering extends life expectancy . Ultimately, this is to both the giver and receiver of support. We can think of many other benefits to helping people. This makes up the fabric of who we are. Put most simply: it’s good to be good.

Volunteering makes Cornwall better

Our Charity Search Tool analysis reveals that Volunteering in Cornwall contributes to happier people. Wellbeing measures indicate that people are happier in locations, not where they have a higher GDP, but where there are more VCSE sector organisations. In Cornwall there are over 2500. This contributes at least £212,080,115 to the local economy. We believe that in volunteer hours, this figure is likely to be doubled.

Our research corroborates that at least one in four people volunteers. This is for registered charities. Within our membership, we know there are swathes of grassroots, community focused organisations making change happen. These are unregistered and often entirely volunteer led. Hence, we anticipate the number of volunteers to be around half of the population.

Deepening collaboration

With this fantastic community spirit, Cornwall is a place of kindness. Now is the time for the fantastic voluntary sector to stand together and show the world who we are. Register for our collaborative event.

If you are considering volunteering in Cornwall, please read our guide to Covid-19 safety for volunteers.