Volunteering Spaniards during the pandemic experienced fewer mental health problems and slept better than those who did not.
A survey conducted among 4,000 Spaniards, shows that 58.5% of those questioned said they felt sadder since the start of the pandemic, compared to 46.7% of those who volunteered. The report ‘The impact of the pandemic in the third sector’ (the voluntary sector) prepared by the Spanish Platform for Volunteering (PVE) and the Platform for the Third Sector has interesting findings.
Volunteers less concerned
In addition, data shows that 75.2% of the surveyed population felt overly concerned during the pandemic, compared to 61.6% of volunteers. 56.8% of people who do not volunteer say they were worried about their future. Volunteers are significantly more optimistic with 44.1%.
The fear of contagion worried 22.9% of volunteers, while 58.5% of the other respondents acknowledged having been afraid of contagion or having felt negative emotions about it.
Volunteers sleep better
The survey also shows that in general, the population had more problems falling asleep or getting a good night’s rest during the pandemic. Volunteers scored slightly better here as well; 61.6% of them did not experience any sleep problems, compared to 63.9% of the other respondents.
The Platform for Volunteering points out the profile of volunteers changed during COVID-19. One third of volunteers stopped working during the lockdown, especially people older than 65 years (49%). On the other hand, more young people between 18 and 34 years old volunteered.
Profiles and tasks
Spain now has two profiles of volunteers in terms of age: young people between 14 and 34 and people over 55. Their most frequent volunteering tasks during the pandemic are: taking care of people (32.6%); helping in training and supporting schools (28.7%); assisting with administrative tasks (23%) and logistics (22.2%). The number of men performing care-related tasks increased.
No increase in infections among volunteers
The report emphasises the virus did not affect volunteers in particular. 89% of the consulted volunteers have not had any symptoms of COVID-19. 71.3% state they used their own resources to carry out their voluntary work from the beginning of lockdown.