Professor Jane South, Leeds Metropolitan University

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  • ‘“Any activity in which time is given freely to benefit another person, group or cause. Volunteering is part of a cluster of helping behaviours, entailing more commitment than spontaneous assistance but narrower in scope than the care provided to family and friends”. Wilson, J. (2000). Volunteering. Annual Review of Sociology, 26, 215-240; P.215.
  • Aim of presentation is to consider volunteering as an intervention to bring about better outcomes in health and social careDraw on research evidence from the HSCVF evaluation.
  • Around three quarters of volunteers (74%) were women and over four fifths described themselves as White (74% White British and 8% of Other White backgrounds). Of the remaining 18%, 8% were Black (8%) and 5% were Asian. About 13% of volunteers regarded themselves as disabled. As expected, there was a wide range of age groups volunteering. The majority were not in employment (62%), with 15% wholly retired and 13% unemployed.
  • 29% reported that had had an impact on all types of networks
  • Professor Jane South, Leeds Metropolitan University

    1. 1. Learning from the evaluation of the Health & Social Care Volunteering Fund ‘Measuring the impact of volunteering in health and care’ , CSV and NNVIA conference, 20th March 2014, London Jane South Professor, Leeds Metropolitan University & Public Health England
    2. 2. Acknowledgements • The HSCVF evaluation was commissioned by ECORYS (fund managers on behalf of DH) and HSCVF partners- Attend, CSV and Primetimers. • Evaluation was carried out by a team from Centre for Health Promotion Research, Leeds Metropolitan University: – Jane South [PI], Ruth Cross, Karina Kinsella, Louise Warwick-Booth, James Woodall, Judy White.
    3. 3. Volunteering – what we know • Part of a ‘cluster of helping behaviours’ with many motivations (Wilson 2000). • Associated with health and social benefits for volunteers (Casiday 2008; Jenkinson et al. 2013) • Scaleable but intensity varies (Low et al. 2008) • Social relationships and networks are important for determinants of health (The Marmot Review, 2010)
    4. 4. Big questions • What can volunteering offer the health and care system? • How do we capture the effects? • How can we strengthen the evidence base on volunteering to support commissioning and practice in health and social care?
    5. 5. Department of Health’s Health and Social Care Volunteering Fund • Capacity building programme – funds and support package • 2010 & 2011 rounds, 94 local and 13 national projects based in VCSE organisations • For further details of projects see: http://volunteeringfund .com/map
    6. 6. Local projects by funding theme Themes % 2010 projects (n=43) Addressing Social Care priorities 16 Health inequalities 21 Both themes 63 2011 projects (n=51) Patient-led NHS 14 Delivering better health outcomes 12 Improving public health 26 Improving health and social care 49 Source: HSCVF project monitoring forms
    7. 7. Desk-based Review Workshops (3) Case Studies – 2 national 6 local Volunteers’ Views Survey • 623 volunteers • 468 online • 155 paper • 70 out of 107 projects • 40% response rate National Interviews (9) 37-item self administered questionnaire Volunteers motivations, activities and tasks (5 questions) Training experiences (14 questions) Volunteers background (12 questions) Benefit of volunteering (6 questions) Evaluation design & methods 107 projects - 94 local and 13 national
    8. 8. Volunteer roles Most common volunteering activities were (n= 623): • befriending (45%) • giving advice, information, counselling (38%) • practical help (33%) • visiting people (32%) • organising or helping run events (25%).
    9. 9. Who did volunteers work with? Source: Volunteers’ Views Survey. South et al. (2013) An evaluation of the Department of Health’s Health and Social Care Volunteering Fund
    10. 10. What benefits do you get from volunteering, if any? TOP 5 % (n= 570) I really enjoy it 50 It gives me a sense of personal achievement 47 It broadens my experience of life 41 I meet people and make friends through it 40 It gives me a chance to learn new skills 35 It improves my confidence 27 I do not feel I gain any benefits 1 Source: Volunteers’ Views Survey. South et al. (2013) An evaluation of the Department of Health’s Health and Social Care Volunteering Fund
    11. 11. Views about impact of projects in the community 240 152 20 3 1 236 155 21 3 1 136 193 68 13 2 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 Strongly agree Agree Undecided Disagree Strongly disagree Percent My project is making a difference in the community My project reaches people with a lot of needs I feel valued by my community
    12. 12. Contribution to health & social care • Community outreach • Diffusion of knowledge • Power of peer support • Caring, connected and capable communities ‘I think when you are saying you are a carer yourself, then you just want to help other carers, that barrier goes down.’ [Older People’s Budgets] ‘These volunteers are the first step of knowledge about the whole thing. Midwives, Doctors, GP surgeries don’t reach to that point. These volunteers are reaching right out into the community, and even their families it’s wonderful.’ [Maternity Outreach]
    13. 13. Impact of volunteering on social networks 392 196 2 19 306 287 2 12 341 253 1 16 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 Increased Remained the same Decreased Don’t know Percent Network of friends Neighbours and community People from other communities/religious backgrounds
    14. 14. Who felt more connected to their community? More likely Less Likely • Older participants (60 and over) • Younger participants (16-29) • Wholly retired • 6 months to 1 year of volunteering experience • Who volunteered between 1 and 5 hours • Volunteered for less than 1 hour in the last 4 weeks • Who volunteered for longer than 1 year • Those in education, carers, permanently sick/disabled
    15. 15. Implications • The HSCVF as a capacity buildng programme was able to strengthen volunteering focused on health and social care priorities • Volunteer supply + health and social care need + reach into communities BUT … • A unique offer so avoid unnecessary professional ‘creep’ and formalisation of roles • Reversing the inverse care law needs some investment in volunteering and VCS organisations
    16. 16. Strengthening the evidence base • Examine the contribution of volunteers within a local system – the value added • Better understanding of the mechanisms of change that lead to health and social care outcomes, including reducing inequalities • Share learning about models that work in practice • Ask questions about scale; reach; community capacity and connections; quality of relationships • Connect existing evidence and research
    17. 17. Working with communities – empowerment, evidence and learning A PHE and NHS England project to draw together and disseminate existing evidence and learning on working with communities and supporting community-centred health and wellbeing interventions. 17
    18. 18. Thank you • Download the full report and summary from http://www.leedsmet.ac.uk/vfp/ under OUTPUTS • For further information please contact jane.south@phe.gov.uk
    19. 19. References • Casiday, R., Kinsman, E., Fisher, C. & Bambra, C. (2008) Volunteering and health; what impact does it really have?, London: Volunteering England. • Low, N., et al. (2008) Helping out. A national survey of volunteering and charitable giving, Cabinet Office, Office of the Third Sector. • Jenkinson, C. et al. (2013) Is volunteering a public health intervention? A systematic review and meta-analysis of the health and survival of volunteers. BMC Public Health 2013, 13:773. http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2458/13/773 • The Marmot Review ( 2010a) Fair Society, Healthy Lives. The Marmot Review, Strategic Review of Health Inequalities in England post-2010, London, The Marmot Review. • Wilson, J. (2000). Volunteering. Annual Review of Sociology, 26, 215-240.

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