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Glaucoma UK News

14 April 2022

Read the highlights from our Volunteer Experience Survey

An elderly woman smiles for a photograph with the Glaucoma UK logo overlaid.

We carried out a volunteer experience survey to hear the views of Glaucoma UK’s volunteers. It was sent directly to the 137 current volunteers and advertised more widely to target volunteers from the past three years. The responses came from:

  • 36 buddies (people who have had surgery or laser who speak to others due to have the procedure) – six have a visual impairment
  • 36 case studies (people who share their glaucoma story) – five have a visual impairment
  • 24 readers panel members (check the quality of our written resources) – five have a visual impairment
  • 16 consultation panel members (respond to glaucoma consultations) – three have a visual impairment
  • 26 people who have volunteered in other ways – of those four have a visual impairment.

Of the volunteers, 71% had one role with us, 20% held two roles and 9% held more than two. Our volunteers are 61% female and 31% male – this is slightly more evenly split than the national average. The age bracket that most of our volunteers fit into is 65-74 years, followed by 75-84 years then 55-64 years. This is similar to the national average although we are missing out on younger volunteers as none of the responders were under 35 years old. All bar one of our volunteers are white with 95% being White British.

Some key information is shown in the table below:

  Received introductory information Had an induction Get ongoing support Know who to contact about their volunteering
Buddies 76% 4% 50% 83%
Case Studies 67% 8% 37% 82%
Readers Panel 72% 5% 16% 58%
Consultation Panel 42% 9% 27% 82%
Other voluntary roles 80% 56% 53% 75%


Other key findings showed us that:

  • By some way, Insight was the most effective method of recruiting volunteers, indicating that most of our volunteers are also members.
  • Somewhat surprisingly, the majority of people showed a preference for ongoing communication about their volunteering role to be via email.
  • Most people wanted Glaucoma UK to be in contact with them either after each engagement or for a quarterly update.
  • The most common reason for volunteering was to help others.

Overall, volunteers seemed happy with their experience at Glaucoma UK. Many commented that they did not want or need anything additional to what is already provided and that they like things as they are. The most common frustrations were wanting to be used more, and there were a few volunteers that were not sure whether they were still volunteers. There appear to be many people who want to get more involved with helping Glaucoma UK. This puts us in a strong position to look at how volunteers can be best used to help Glaucoma UK meet its aims in the future.

We will now use the findings from this survey to build a consistent volunteering approach across Glaucoma UK. It will help us to make sure volunteers, Glaucoma UK and people with glaucoma are benefitting as much as possible from people’s generous donation of their time.

If you would like to read a copy of the full report, please email