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Results for 'volunteers'

Results 1 - 10 of 34

Residents and volunteers: sharing the learning

ABBEYFIELD SOCIETY, AVISON Tracey Berridge, JARVIS Sunnie
2018

This good practice guide shares some of the practical learning from those involved in the Residents as Volunteers project, which supported older people aged over-75 years living in a residential home setting to volunteer. The project was delivered in partnership by Abbeyfield Society and NCVO, and funded by the Big Lottery fund. The guide summarises some of the emotional, social, mental and physical health benefits for residents involved in the project. It then provides advice for getting residents and staff ready to take part in volunteering initiatives; provides ideas to help overcome barriers to volunteering; and ways of identifying volunteering opportunities both inside and outside the home. Case studies from three sites who took part in the Residents as Volunteers project are included: Drake Lodge, Abbeyfield Tavistock Society, Abbeyfield The Dales Society, and Abbeyfield Retirement Living in Nottingham are also included.

Residents as volunteers: final evaluation report

NATIONAL COUNCIL FOR VOLUNTARY ORGANISATIONS, HORNUNG Lisa
2018

An evaluation of the Residents as Volunteers project, which aimed to support older people aged over-75 years living in a residential home setting to volunteer and to measure the impact of volunteering on well-being and quality of life. The project was delivered in partnership by Abbeyfield Society and NCVO, and funded by the Big Lottery fund. A total of 110 residents volunteered during the project. Those participating felt that volunteering had a positive impact on their emotional and social well-being and many also reported that volunteering helped them to stay physically and mentally active. The evaluation identified a number of barriers to volunteering faced by care home residents. These included feeling too old, having a health condition, lack of confidence, narrow views of volunteering or anti-volunteering sentiment. The project also found it was far more difficult to reach residents that had never volunteered before. It also identified barriers for staff and care homes themselves, including existing social interactions, staff to resident ratio, existing volunteering culture and non-supportive environment or lack of management buy-in. The report makes some suggestions to overcome these barriers.

Age-friendly and inclusive volunteering: review of community contributions in later life

JOPLING Kate, JONES Dan
2018

This review considers how to enable more people to contribute to their communities, in later life (defined as aged 50 and over), with a focus on increasing participation among underrepresented groups, especially those in poor health or living with long-term health conditions. It covers activities such as neighbourliness, helping in the community and volunteering. It draws on a range of sources including a call for evidence, a call for practice and seven roundtable meetings involving over 100 participants. The report looks at why people get involved with their communities and how contributing to communities can improve social connections, and lead to increased life satisfaction and wellbeing; how volunteering can change across the life course; and the practical, structural and emotional barriers to contributing to communities. It sets out a framework for age-friendly, inclusive volunteering, which includes for volunteering to: be flexible and to fit around life changes; to provide support and training needed; to provide opportunities to be sociable and feel connected; value volunteers; provide meaningful activity; and make good use of strengths and experiences. The review makes recommendations for the voluntary, public and private sectors on how to tackle the barriers to enable people to continue to volunteer throughout their lifetime. Case studies of good practice are included throughout the report.

Ageing Better: national evaluation short learning report: July 2018

CAMPBELL Diarmid, COX Korina
2018

Shares learning from the 14 partners of the Ageing Better programme, which aim to support people aged over 50 who are experiencing, or at risk of, social isolation and loneliness. The report draws on surveys of programme participants, visits to each of the 14 programme areas, and feedback from stakeholders from the partnerships. It reports that. to date, Ageing Better partnerships have worked with approximately 70,000 participants and 13,250 volunteers. The report also shows how Ageing Better, participants are, on average, less socially isolated and lonely, taking a more active role in their communities, have improved health and wellbeing, and are getting involved in delivering and designing projects. It also highlights benefits for volunteers and how Ageing Better is helping organisations improve partnership working and increasing skills, capacity and knowledge among participants helping to deliver and design programmes. Links to the partnership websites are also included.

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.

A review of the basic principles of sustainable community-based volunteering approaches to tackling loneliness and social isolation among older people

PARKINSON Andy, GRIFFITHS Endaf, TRIER Eva
2018

This study examines the social, economic and environmental conditions that enable community-based volunteering projects to reduce loneliness and isolation in older people to become successful. It also identifies barriers to volunteering approaches, and how they can be tackled. The study involved a literature review, consultation with stakeholders, and an analysis of eight case studies in Wales. Drawing on the findings, it also sets out a Theory of Change to show how programmes have the potential to reduce loneliness and social isolation and provides a framework for the future self-evaluation of programmes. The study found that schemes employ a range of approaches in order to engage and support their clients, including in-home visits, telephone befriending, and group activities. This can be influenced by funding or its ability to support the project’s aims and outcomes. Other key findings highlight the need for schemes to be able to accurately assess the social and emotional status of older people so as to deliver appropriate interventions; for schemes to target effectively to reach those most at risk. It also found that schemes adopting a participatory approach which places local people at the heart and schemes which focused on smaller geographical areas tended to be more effective. The report makes eight recommendations, which include the development of a standard method or tools for monitoring and evaluating volunteer-led schemes.

Evaluation of the volunteering in care homes project: summary report

HILL Matthew
2016

Summary report of an evaluation of the Volunteering in Care Homes (ViCH) project, which examines the impact of volunteering on residents, staff and volunteers and also explores the implications for developing volunteering in care homes more generally. The project was piloted in fourteen care homes, which placed trained volunteers in befriending and activity-based roles. The evaluation found good subjective evidence from staff and volunteer surveys of that befriending and activity-based volunteering roles have major positive impacts for residents in care homes, especially around social and emotional wellbeing. The majority of staff surveyed also felt the involvement of volunteers has a positive impact on their job, in terms of job satisfaction, retention and levels of stress. The evaluation also looked at the cost-effectiveness of the approach. The project had high start-up costs, with a positive ongoing value ratio achieved 18 months into the project. In order to deliver positive impacts for residents and staff, the project found that volunteers need to be effectively recruited, sufficiently trained, well matched and receive substantial ongoing support and coordination. Other factors identified that need to be addressed to enable volunteer engagement to become well established across the sector, include strategic leadership, culture change, good practice learning, financial resources and regulatory incentives.

People powered recovery: social action and complex needs. Findings from a call for evidence

TURNING POINT
2018

The UK All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on complex needs and dual diagnosis was established in 2007 in recognition of the fact that people seeking help often have a number of over-lapping needs including problems around access to housing, social care, unemployment services, mental health provision or substance misuse support. This report sets out the findings from a call for evidence on how social action can improve outcomes and develop more responsive services for people with complex needs or a dual diagnosis. Social action is about people coming together to tackle an issue, support others or improve their local area, by sharing their time and expertise through volunteering, peer-led groups and community projects. The report provides examples of how social action can support recovery, self-worth and confidence, boost employment prospects and skills, reduce stigma, better shape services to meet people’s needs, contribute to better health and wellbeing and save money. It also looks at how to overcome some of the challenges and barriers to developing social action focused around complex needs. These include resources, stigma, procedural issues, leadership, commissioning structures and demonstrating benefits.

Age Friendly Island: local evaluation. Annual evaluation report 16/17

NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT TEAM FOR INCLUSION
2017

An evaluation of Age Friendly Island (AFI), a partnership of older people and voluntary and public sector agencies working together across the Isle of Wight (IOW) to reduce social isolation, empower older people and influence local culture so that older people are seen as assets rather than burdens. The evaluation covers the period April 2016 to March 2017, covering data gathered across Year 2 of the Programme. It looks at the impact of the 12 projects that make up the AFI, in relation to four outcomes: older people have improved connections within their local community and reduced social isolation; older people feel empowered to co-produce local policies and services; for older people to feel the Island is age-friendly; and an increased sense of health, wellbeing, and quality of life. The projects reported a total of 9,962 new participants in the period 2016-17, with an average of 1,594 people participating across the 12 projects each month. The evaluation found that participation in the Programme has helped older people to increase their social connections, meet new people, and has led to decreased social isolation for people involved. Participants also reported that involvement in the project led to a positive impact on the health, mental health, wellbeing or quality of life. Whilst there are good examples of genuine co-production, the evaluation identified the need for further progress to enable older people to feel empowered to influence projects, services and policies. The AFI Programme is one of 14 Fulfilling Lives: Ageing Better partnerships funded by the Big Lottery.

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