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Results for 'volunteers'

Results 1 - 10 of 29

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.

North London Cares and South London Cares

North London Cares and South London Cares

North London Cares (NLC) and South London Cares (SLC) are community networks mobilising young professionals to volunteer to spend time with and support their older neighbours in Camden and Islington (NLC) and Lambeth and Southwark (SLC), in order to reduce loneliness and isolation amongst older people (and young professionals alike); to improve the skills, confidence, wellbeing and resilience so that all participants can better navigate the rapidly changing modern world; and to reduce the division across social and generational divides in London.

ExtraCare's Wellbeing Programme

The ExtraCare Charitable Trust

ExtraCare’s Wellbeing Programme was developed in 2002, in partnership with older people who live at ExtraCare’s Schemes and Villages. The concept was launched following a survey, which highlighted that 75% of residents at one location had not accessed any health screening via their GPs or the NHS. A pilot screening scheme subsequently identified 122 previously undetected conditions amongst a population of just 136, highlighting a clear need for the Programme.

The impact of faith-based organisations on public health and social capital

NOVEMBER Lucy
2014

Summarises research evidence on the relationship between faith and health, and on the role of faith communities in improving health and reducing health inequalities. It also provides an overview of faith in the UK and the health problems prevalent within different ethnic and faith communities. The literature was identified through searches carried out on a range of databases and organisational websites, and was structured into two ‘strands’. Strand one looks at how faith based organisations represent communities with poor health outcomes, and provide an opportunity for public health services to access these ‘hard to reach’ groups. Strand two looks at how the social and spiritual capital gained by belonging to a faith community can result in physical and mental health benefits and mitigate other determinants of poor health. Findings from the review included that regular engagement in religious activities is positively related to various aspects of wellbeing, and negatively associated with depressive symptoms. There was also evidence to show that volunteering can positively affect the health and wellbeing of volunteers, and that faith communities represent a large proportion of national volunteering. The report provides recommendations for faith-based organisations and public health bodies, on how they might work effectively in partnership to realise the potential for faith groups of improving health and wellbeing.

Volunteering and social action and the Care Act: an opportunity for local government

VOLUNTEERING MATTERS
2016

This paper provides advice and guidance for councillors and chief officers to help them respond to the Care Act 2014 by working together with partners in their local communities to develop volunteering and social action. The paper identifies Care Act duties placed on local government and partner organisation, which are to promote wellbeing; prevent reduce or delay needs by building on the resources of the local community; the provision of information and advice; and shaping a diverse and sustainable local market of providers for care and support. It then highlights the role volunteering can play in helping to fulfil these duties; why the VCSE sector is a useful partner for local authorities seeking to deliver their Care Act responsibilities; and identifies Care Act duties where volunteers can make a contribution. It also identifies shared features of initiatives which are effective building community capacity and promoting voluntary action. These are that they are co-produced, respond to local context, human in scale, strength-based; build in learning; build in sustainability; and adaptive, able to learn from their experience. It concludes with the challenges that need to be addressed to make the most of community capacity and build services which are ‘prevention-focused’. These are to provide community leadership and strategic direction; replicate and scale up good practice; prioritisation versus competing demands; commissioning practice; facilitate choice and control through micro-commissioning; supplement not displace paid work; and measure the impact of volunteering. Includes links to additional resources and sources of information.

The benefits of making a contribution to your community in later life

JONES Dan, YOUNG Aideen, REEDER Neil
2016

Reviews existing evidence on the benefits for older people of volunteering and making unpaid contributions to their communities in later life. The report covers ‘community contributions’ to refer to this whole spectrum of unpaid activity, including individual acts of neighbourliness, peer support, formal volunteering and involvement in civic participation. The report looks the state of the current evidence base; the main areas of benefit for volunteering in later life, who currently benefits from volunteering and in what circumstances. The review identifies good evidence that older people making community contributions can lead to benefits in: the quantity and quality of their social connections; an enhanced sense of purpose and self-esteem; and improved life satisfaction, happiness and wellbeing. The evidence was less clear on the impact on health, employment and social isolation. The review also found that people aged 50 with fewer social connections, lower levels of income and education, and poorer health may have the most to gain from helping others. However, the people most likely to volunteer are those who are already relatively wealthy, in good physical and mental health, and with high levels of wellbeing and social connections. The report makes recommendations for organisations, funders and commissioners working with older volunteers. These included: maximise the benefits of volunteering by focusing on engaging older people who are relatively less well connected, less wealthy and less healthy; avoid an over reliance on volunteering alone to tackle serious issues related to physical health, frailty, social isolation or employability; and ensure that older people engaged in volunteering have meaningful roles, with opportunities for social interaction.

Results 1 - 10 of 29

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