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Results for 'voluntary work'

Results 1 - 10 of 12

Participatory arts, sport, physical activity and loneliness: the role of space and place

WHAT WORKS CENTRE FOR WELLBEING
2020

This briefing summarises the key findings from a qualitative evidence review into the role of place and space in enhancing wellbeing or alleviating loneliness when taking part in participatory arts and sport or physical activity. The review identified five key themes in the evidence base which highlight processes by which participatory arts and sport increase wellbeing and/ or reduce loneliness. They are: belonging and identity; relationships to community and locality; therapeutic and sensory spaces; safe spaces; and pace and rhythm of a space and place. The briefing concludes by suggesting how the evidence could be implemented.

A qualitative evidence review of place and space, intangible assets and volunteering and participatory arts and sport or physical activity for enhancing wellbeing or alleviating loneliness across the adult lifecourse (16+ years)

MANSFIELD Louise, et al
2020

This review identifies evidence on the role of place and space in enhancing wellbeing or alleviating loneliness when taking part in participatory arts and sport or physical activity. The review looked at studies published worldwide between 2009 and 2019, found 59 sources. The qualitative studies included focus on understanding and conceptualising place and space, wellbeing and/or loneliness in participatory arts, sport or physical activity. In these studies, five key thematic areas and their findings have been identified: (i) belonging and identity in place and space (ii) places and spaces of community and locality, (iii) therapeutic and sensory spaces, (iv) safe spaces and (v) temporal aspects of place and space. These themes point to processes by which participatory arts and sport operate to enhance wellbeing and/or alleviate loneliness. Based on the findings, the review has high confidence that places and spaces and placemaking are important in enhancing wellbeing and potentially alleviating loneliness by creating a positive sense of belonging and identity, community and therapeutic or sensory experience in participatory arts, sport or physical activity. It has moderate confidence that places and spaces and placemaking are important in enhancing wellbeing by creating safe spaces for those facing physical or emotional harm via participatory arts, sport or physical activity. It has moderate confidence that the pattern and timing of activities in places and spaces for participatory arts, sport or physical activity i.e. when, how long, who with and what types of activity occur, have a positive influence of wellbeing.

Social return on investment analysis of the health and wellbeing impacts of Wildlife Trust programmes

BAGNALL Anne-Marie, et al
2019

An analysis the social value of the Wildlife Trusts’ nature conservation projects, which offer outdoor volunteering opportunities and programmes that support people experiencing problems such as anxiety, stress or mild depression. The analysis, carried out by researchers at the Centre for Health Promotion Research at Leeds Beckett University, draws on the conclusions of three years of research on Wildlife Trusts’ projects. The results show that people participating in outdoor nature conservation activities felt better both emotionally and physically. The analysis calculates that for every £1 invested in general volunteering projects to tackle problems like physical inactivity or loneliness for people with average to high wellbeing, the social return on investment (SROI) was £8.50. For every £1 invested in targeted nature projects to tackle specialised health or social needs for people with low wellbeing at baseline, there was a £6.88 return. The report concludes that conservation activities should be encouraged as part of psychological wellbeing interventions.

Heritage and wellbeing. The impact of historic places and assets on community wellbeing: a scoping review

PENNINGTON Andy, et al
2019

A scoping review of evidence on the impact of heritage places, interventions, and assets – things like historic objects, monuments or buildings – to discover how they impact individual and community wellbeing. The primary focus of the review was on impacts of historic places and assets set within the ‘living environment’ of communities, but it also considers evidence from projects that used historic objects/artefacts, for example, in the care of people with dementia in care homes and other healthcare settings. The review looked at 75 papers and reports. It found higher and lower quality evidence that historic places, assets and associated activities and interventions can have a wide range of beneficial impacts on the physical, mental and social wellbeing of individuals and communities. These include increased life satisfaction and social connectivity for individuals and positive effects on community wellbeing such as social relationships, sense of belonging, pride of place, ownership and collective empowerment. It also identifies important gaps in the research, and highlights potential negative wellbeing impacts of participating in heritage-based interventions, or living in historic areas. Potential negative impacts of interventions appear to be related to how well the design and delivery of interventions considered the needs of specific individuals and groups.

Place, belonging and the determinants of volunteering

DALLIMORE David J., et al
2018

The article discusses findings from an ethnography investigating how volunteering in local associational life is changing, asking whether structural factors fixed in localities remain important or whether, as others have suggested, volunteering is becoming disembedded from place. Across two locations, how situational variables, including belonging, identification and interaction, remain important determinants of volunteering, and how the relationship between people and their localities has distinct meanings were observed. In one locality, people participated as volunteers because they had a strong sense of belonging; in the other, they often volunteered because they wanted to belong. Findings: local voluntary association is important in forming bridges between people in 'places' and wider society, but that differing notions of belonging mean that localities are not equally situated to operate as effective conduits. Conclusion: understanding these dynamics is important for outside agencies in delivering support and public services.

Volunteer peer support and befriending for carers of people living with dementia: an exploration of volunteers’ experiences

SMITH Raymond, et al
2018

With ageing populations and greater reliance on the voluntary sector, the number of volunteer‐led peer support and befriending services for carers of people with dementia in England is set to increase. However, little is known about the experiences of the volunteers who deliver these interventions, many of whom are former carers. Using in‐depth semi‐structured interviews with 10 volunteer peer supporters and befrienders, this exploratory study investigated volunteers’ experiences of delivering the support, the types of relationships they form with carers and their perceptions of its impact upon them and on carers. Data were analysed using framework analysis. Findings showed that volunteers benefitted from their role due to the ‘two‐way’ flow of support. Experiential similarity and having common interests with carers were considered important to the development of mutually beneficial relationships. Volunteers perceived that carers gained emotional and social support, which in turn improved the carers’ coping ability. Being able to see positive changes to carers’ lives was important for volunteers to gain enjoyment and satisfaction from their role. However, volunteers also identified challenges with their role, such as dealing with carers’ emotions. Future research should investigate ways of reducing potential burden on volunteers and explore the impact of volunteering specifically on former carers of people with dementia.

Gig buddies: project report: January 2013 - December 2014

STAY UP LATE
2015

This evaluation report looks at how the Gig Buddies scheme has developed, the lessons learned, and the way support is offered to people to be less socially isolated while new types of volunteers are created in the process. Gig Buddies is a project that pairs up people with and without learning disabilities in Sussex to be friends and to go to events together. This report also looks at the plans to replicate Gig Buddies as a social franchise (‘Gig Buddies in a box’) by sharing experience and creating a model that enables replication, whilst also protecting the integrity of the project. The report argues that the pilot project demonstrates that Gig Buddies has the potential to transform communities, enabling many more people with learning disabilities and autism to be less socially isolated and unleashing the capacity of communities to become more involved in voluntary work.

Introduction to the research on: the impact and effectiveness of meaningful activity for people with mental health problems

HARFLETT Naomi, JENNINGS Yasmin, LINSKY Kate
2017

This short scoping review identifies research on the impact and effectiveness of meaningful activity for people with mental health problems. Due to the lack of consensus on what is meant by the terms ‘meaningful activity’ or ‘meaning activity’, the review focused on different activities, such as unpaid work and volunteering, horticulture, woodwork, arts and music, physical exercise and leisure. Searches were on a range of databases, including Social Care Online, and organisational websites for UK based research published from 2000. The review provides an overview of the quantity and quality of the research and a table summarising the 33 studies reviewed and their key findings. It also provides a summary of areas identified for future research. The review found that in the vast majority of the studies found people experience positive outcomes from participating in meaningful activity or occupation. These included: a sense of purpose or meaning to life, a structure or routine to the day, acquisition of skills, a sense of identity, social interaction and increased social networks, improved wellbeing, access to employment or education, improved confidence and improved self-esteem. However it notes that due to the high proportion of small-scale qualitative research studies, positive outcomes may be overstated. It also found no conclusive evidence to show that volunteering resulted in positive outcomes for people with mental health problems.

Harnessing social action to support older people: evaluating the Reducing Winter Pressures Fund

GEORGHIOU Theo, et al
2016

Presents the findings of an evaluation of seven social action projects funded by the Cabinet Office, NHS England, Monitor, NHS Trust Development Authority and the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services. The aim of the Reducing Winter Pressures Fund was to scale up and test projects that used volunteers to support older people to stay well, manage health conditions or recover after illness, and thereby reduce pressure on hospitals. The organisations supported by the fund comprised a range of national and local charities. These projects fell into three broad categories: community-based support, supporting discharge from hospital wards, and supporting individuals in A&E department to avoid admissions. Between them, the projects offered a wide range of services to older people – both direct (for example help with shopping or providing transport) and indirect (linking with other services). The evaluation resulted in a mixed set of findings. From the interviews with staff, volunteers and local stakeholders, there was evidence of services that had made an impact by providing practical help, reassurance and connection with other services that could reduce isolation and enable independence. Those involved with the projects felt that volunteers and project staff could offer more time to users than pressurised statutory sector staff, which enabled a fuller understanding of a person’s needs while also freeing up staff time. However, the analysis of hospital activity data in the months that followed people's referral into the projects did not suggest that these schemes impacted on the use of NHS services in the way that was assumed, with no evidence of a reduction in emergency hospital admissions, or in costs of hospital care following referral to the social action projects. The one exception was the project based in an A&E department, which revealed a smaller number of admissions in the short term. The report questions whether these sorts of interventions can ever be fully captured solely using hospital-based data and conceptualising reduced or shortened admissions as a key marker of success.

Understanding everyday help and support: summary

ANDERSON Simon, BROWNLIE Julie, MILNE Elisabeth-Jane
2015

A summary of a study examining low-level or everyday help and support and the role it can play in allowing people to lead ‘liveable’ lives. The study explored the ways in which the need for (and availability of) such support is shaped by social context, biography and relationships. It also looked at how support actually happens (or not) and how it is sustained over time. Key findings included: small acts of help, support and kindness were often mundane and barely noticed (even by those involved), but had fundamental consequences for individual and community well-being; although this everyday help was often practical, it could have important emotional consequences; individual circumstances, life stage and life events (e.g. parenting, ill health, retirement) created needs for informal help and support, but also ways of potentially meeting those needs; powerful emotions and moral considerations attached to these apparently straightforward acts, particularly notions of reciprocity and who should be considered deserving of help; many of the perceived risks of helping or being helped related to people’s concerns about their self-image or how others saw them; collectively, these acts and relationships of everyday help and support had an ‘infrastructural’ quality - they made possible other aspects of social life, but needed attention, maintenance and repair in their own right. The briefing concludes that while it is not possible to legislate for kindness, attempts should be made to avoid damaging – and, where possible, foster and extend – the conditions in which it occurs.

Results 1 - 10 of 12

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News

Moving Memory

Moving Memory Practice example about how the Moving Memory Dance Theatre Company is challenging perceived notions of age and ageing.

Chatty Cafe Scheme

Chatty Cafe Scheme Practice example about how the Chatty Cafe Scheme is helping to tackle loneliness by bringing people of all ages together

Oomph! Wellness

Oomph! Wellness Practice example about how Oomph! Wellness is supporting staff to get older adults active and combat growing levels of social isolation

KOMP

KOMP Practice example about how KOMP, designed by No Isolation is helping older people stay connected with their families

LAUGH research project

LAUGH research project Practice example about a research project to develop highly personalised, playful objects for people with advanced dementia
View more: News
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