New research has revealed that more than half (59%) of teachers joined education to make a positive difference to the lives of others and 53% have been involved in their local community since they started their career.
The survey, carried out by Opinion Matters and commissioned by public sector and civil service membership club Boundless, painted a picture of public service workers as not only serving the country with distinction but also being the cornerstone of communities.
The survey also revealed that the challenges everyone faced since March 2020 have brought communities together and made Britain feel more united as a society. Nearly a third of us (28%) think the effect of the pandemic has seen a sense of community grow.
And it was the UK’s teachers, healthcare professionals and police officers who helped the nation through the difficult times.
Other statistics included:
- Nearly 1 in 5 (18%) of teachers have looked after their neighbours during their careers
- More than a third (32%) of those in education say their workplace gives them a sense of community spirit
- 1 in 10 teachers run sports teams for kids in their spare time
Darren Milton at Boundless said: “Community spirit is clearly alive and well and growing across the country with our teachers and other public servants at the very heart of it.
“People in public service roles routinely go the extra mile. In fact, the survey also revealed that more than half, 59%, of teachers joined up specifically because they wanted to make a positive difference to the lives of others.”
That community spirit carries over into their personal lives, too, with 53% of teachers working voluntarily, helping neighbours and devoting time to charitable initiatives – a revelation that makes Public Service Day on Thursday 23 June even more poignant.
As an example, Marva Rollins OBE has spent the last 40 years doing voluntary work outside of her roles: “I worked with the Sickle Cell Society, at a time when many of the doctors and nurses didn’t even know about sickle cell. We were trained to go into hospitals and people’s homes, and my phone number was the one that the hospital had, so 2o’clock in the morning I might get a call from a parent saying ‘I need help’.
“At the moment, I’m a trustee for Success Club, which is a charity which goes into schools to help children with mindfulness. I’m also a patron of the Reach Society – the only female patrol, because it started out as an organisation for black professional males to coach young black men, but now it’s open to all people.
“I’m still a governor of three schools, including a special school and one for neurodiverse children – many of which have very complex needs. I also work on a hotline for people working in education who are in distress, as things are not always good in education. I also help people to prepare for interviews.
“I do a lot of volunteer work, it’s just who I am…you’ve got to keep busy.”
Public Service Day was officially launched by the United Nations in 2003. Boundless began campaigning in 2019 for more national recognition and support for those working in the sector.