Volunteer attitudes to health and safety in the charity sector

18 August 2021

Ecclesiastical are partnering with leading researchers at the Health and Safety Executive’s Science and Research Centre to develop practical advice for charities.

Young people holding hands in a circle

About the project

Volunteers are an integral part of the charity sector. With so much reliance on the work they do, it is important that charities understand the needs of managing such a diverse group of people. A total of 67% of charities we asked said volunteers are a fundamental part of their business model. Managing health and safety within volunteer groups can present challenges and according to 31% of charities, the complexity of the risks they face has increased in the last three years1
Working with leading experts at the Health and Safety Executive’s Science and Research Centre we are looking to understand if attitudes to health and safety differ depending on whether the worker is employed or a volunteer. We will then explore practical ways of addressing differing attitudes in a sensible and proportionate manner with the aim of improving health and safety performance. 

We need your help

The HSE are looking for participants to be part of this pioneering research through either, attendance at one of the planned regional workshops, or via a short telephone interview.


The HSE researchers will be hosting six workshops at three centres during this year and will investigate attitudes to health and safety from a range of perspectives.
The HSE is looking for people to take part in these workshops, who are either;

  • Volunteers from volunteer only organisations
  • Volunteers from organisations that also have employees
  • Employees from organisations that also have volunteers 

Telephone interviews

The researchers would also like to hold telephone interviews with those with overall responsibility for health and safety within:

  • Organisations made up of ‘volunteers only’ 
  • Organisations made up of volunteers and employees.

Recognising that participants would be giving their time 
freely, Ecclesiastical will make a donation of £100 to a registered charity of their choice as a thank you for taking part.

How to get involved

If you would like to get involved in this unique piece of research, please email the research group at risk.advice@ecclesiastical.com.
Please use the email subject heading Volunteer Research Project, indicating if you want to participate in either the workshop (including a preference for location) or the telephone interview and provide your preferred contact details. 

Further information about HSE

The HSE’s Science and Research Centre is the world's leading provider of health and safety solutions to government, industry and other professional bodies. Further information is available at www.hsl.gov.uk

1 Ecclesiastical charity survey February/March 2019 – 200 charity leaders – state of the sector research