A survey conducted by Quays News showed that a free bus pass for people under 25 years old would increase the number of people volunteering for charities.

This comes after the revealing of Labour’s policy of offering free bus passes for youngsters under 25. The incentive is part of a wider policy which tries to get more local bus services back into direct council control.

What people in Salford think about a free bus pass for youngsters?

We conducted a survey which was completed by young people in Salford and 70% of the responses were positive, but few people were neutral to this idea.

“No, even if I am a student my schedule doesn’t allow me to do voluntary work, not even with a free bus pass. More than that I am a part-time worker and I have my own bus pass because I need it to commute. What I really lack is time”, one community member explained.
“Sometimes I think people who really want to help will always find a way. A free bus pass is just an excuse in many cases I guess”, said another young person who responded the survey.
On the other hand, few of the responders explained why this measure would help them.
“Yes, it’d make me more likely to volunteer. I believe the issue with volunteering at the minute is the fact that often people will lose out on their own money by volunteering. This makes people more hesitant about volunteering. Personally, I couldn’t afford to volunteer if it was for an organisation far away as I’d have to consider paying for my travel expenses and lunch (I couldn’t go back home to eat and then go back to the place of volunteering)”, a responder explained.


How can charities benefit from this offer?

Nicole Alderson, an 18-year-old volunteer for City Year UK, has been traveling across Manchester every day to get at a primary school near Salford for 8am. She told The Guardian her fare cost £18 every week and she can’t get a concession and is not a student.

However, City Year does reimburse the costs of Nicole’s fares if she keeps every bus receipt.

City Year UK is a charity that places young mentors who volunteer in primary schools to support children from disadvantaged communities. Caley Eldred, director of development for the charity explained how young people work with “a huge commitment“.

“Travel costs, particularly in the south-east, are huge, and our dedicated volunteer mentors often travel long distances by train, bus, tube, and tram to get to the schools and pupils they serve.” Eldred said.

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