Local research about volunteering

These studies are about the Yorkshire and Humber region. Some of the research projects took place on multiple sites but always include Yorkshire and Humber, or were produced by researchers in this region.

“I didn’t think we’d be dealing with stuff like this”: A qualitative study of volunteer support for very disadvantaged pregnant women and new mothers

Description of relevant themes  

  • Peer volunteering - examines the crucial role of peer volunteering in offering volunteer support for very disadvantaged mothers during pregnancy and the postnatal period. Volunteers came from the local communities and in some projects, they had peer experiences and insider-status in common with those receiving support.
  • Volunteer experiences - attempts at understanding volunteers’ experiences of supporting vulnerable pregnant women.

Tourism and refugee-crisis intersections: Co-creating tour guide experiences in Leeds, England

Description of relevant themes  

  • Sociocultural integration - explores how involving refugee or asylum-seeking volunteers in the tourism sector, by allowing them to design and lead their own city-tours of Leeds, can help develop inter-cultural connections, autonomy, mutual respect, acceptance, inclusivity, and relational dwelling.

Evaluating the impact of befriending for pregnant asylum-seeking and pregnant women

Description of relevant themes  

  • Volunteer-befriending - examines the role of volunteer befrienders, who themselves are asylum-seeking and refugee mothers, in supporting pregnant asylum-seeking and refugee women. Advantages included: building relationships between volunteers and service users, improving pregnancy outcomes for asylum-seeking and refugee women, a sense of undertaking worthwhile roles for volunteers and a potential pathway to paid work.

Welcoming Acts: Temporality and Affect among Volunteer Humanitarians in the UK and USA               

Description of relevant themes  

  • Volunteer humanitarianism - explores the potential of volunteer humanitarians to contest, resist and disrupt exclusionary practices of state governance of asylum seekers and offer an alternative, local political possibilities grounded in the ethics of empathy, inclusion and welcome.
  • Reproducing categorical hierarchies - highlighted how volunteer initiatives may (un)wittingly reproduce discourses and practices that perpetuate hierarchies of deservedness between different categories of migrants.

Volunteering, inequalities, and barriers to volunteering: a rapid evidence review               

Description of relevant themes  

  • Volunteering and inequalities - examines the factors that help or hinder people taking part in volunteering, demographic patterns of volunteering and barriers to volunteering to people most at risk of social exclusion. Findings indicate that volunteering reflects broader exclusionary structures inherent in contemporary social structures as well as barriers operating at individual level.
  • Barriers to volunteering - barriers included work commitment, childcare commitments, lack of information about volunteering opportunities, study commitments, looking after elderly family members, disability, age, and other commitments.

Volunteering among refugees and asylum seekers: Barriers, motivations and recommendations for the voluntary third sector in Leeds

Description of relevant themes  

  • Motivations to volunteering - identification and shared experience with refugees and asylum seekers (for refugees and asylum seekers volunteering with refugee organisations) being service users giving opportunities and knowledge to volunteer, provided as a support package given to refugees and asylum seekers.
  • Barriers to mainstream or formal volunteering - barriers included: lack of information about mainstream voluntary roles, apprehension about being accepted by wider British society, different cultures of volunteering, difficulty getting Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks, language barriers and volunteering is not financially viable.

Most of the research papers listed are free to access through online searching. If you have trouble accessing any of the resources, please contact admin@migrationyorkshire.org.uk and we can try to assist.

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