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Volunteering together: inclusive volunteering and disabled people

Volunteering together: inclusive volunteering and disabled people

Spirit of 2012 has awarded a grant of £29,858 to carry out new research into the background, nature and experiences of disabled people who volunteer. A team of four researchers, coordinated by Kim Donahue Consulting, will undertake the project, with the quantitative analysis undertaken by Dr Daiga Kamerade from the University of Salford. The results are expected to be published by April 2022.

Volunteering is widely held to have a triple benefit: for the organisation the volunteer is volunteering for; for the service user or community, and for the volunteer themselves. While much research has carried out into volunteering, we know very little about the experience and background of disabled volunteers, or how their experiences of volunteering differ from those without disabilities.

The insights from the research will help organisations that have volunteer programmes, or are considering working with volunteers, to develop inclusive volunteering practices that are open to both disabled and non-disabled people on equal terms.

The research team will use data from Understanding Society, the UK Household Longitudinal Study. This survey contains records of nearly 25,000 people who volunteer and will be used to profile disabled and non-disabled volunteers. Understand Society will also be used to show how patterns of volunteering have changed during the pandemic. They will also undertake six in-depth case studies with organisations that currently work with volunteers.

“Ours will be the first project to produce detailed statistics on different types of disability and how they combine with a person’s gender, age, ethnicity and other characteristics to create their unique experiences of volunteering.

Dr. Daiga Kamerāde - Reader in Work and Wellbeing, University of Salford

£29,858

Project spend

8 months

Project duration