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Department of Health’s Health and Social Care Volunteering Fund: national evaluation. Jane South Professor of Healthy Communities Acknowledgements.

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Department of Health’s Health and Social Care Volunteering Fund: national evaluation

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Department of Health’s Health and Social Care Volunteering Fund:national evaluation

Jane South

Professor of Healthy Communities


  • 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.

Presentation outline

Presentation will include:

  • Background

  • Evaluation aim and approach

  • Overview of evaluation methods

  • Findings – projects; volunteers; communities

  • Future challenges

Source: The King’s Fund (2013)

Volunteering in health a care. Securing a sustainable future.

Number of health and social care employees, volunteers and carers in England

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:

Evaluation design & methods



Workshops (3)


Studies –

2 national

6 local



(623 volunteers)

National Interviews (9)



Capacity Building

Volunteer Engagement

Organisational Impact

Making a Difference

Synthesis of results


Local projects by funding theme

Source: HSCVF project monitoring forms

Strengthening volunteering

  • 2010 local projects recruited a total of 517 new volunteers who carried out a total of 11,856 extra volunteering hours.

  • 2011 local projects recruited 687 new volunteers and created 20,335 extra volunteering hours.

  • Volunteer coordinator = key role.

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%).

Making a difference for volunteers

  • Personal benefits of volunteering:

    • increased confidence

    • having a sense of purpose

    • feeling listened to

    • awareness of health and social care issues.

  • Volunteer pathways

    • personal development

    • education and skills

    • volunteer and paid roles

  • Stronger ties – new contacts

‘It’s that warm feeling inside of thinking I’m doing something decent here…and there is an enormous amount of feel good factor for somebody like me…on a personal level it leaves something with me, on a professional level I’m learning to do what I want to do.’


‘If I wasn’t a volunteer I would be stuck in a day centre, just looking at four walls basically. Whereas I can get out and meet people and it gives me a better social life.’

[My Care, My Choice]

Which groups do volunteers work with?

Source: Volunteers’ Views Survey (n=544)

Views about impact of projects in the community

Source: Volunteers’ Views Survey

Making a difference for communities

‘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]

‘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]

‘I’ve befriended lots of parents unofficially because you can’t stop it once you start doing it. You can’t see somebody trapped if you can just chat to them, even if it’s just let’s go down to Sainsbury’s and have a quick cup of coffee and a laugh.’

[Calderdale Parent and Carers]

Future challenges

  • Changes in health and social care impacting on voluntary and community sector, volunteers and communities they serve.

  • Navigating local commissioning to secure future funding

  • Connecting up to health and social care services so volunteering adds value to statutory provision

  • Small peer support projects have place in health and social care system but how to support?

Thank you

  • Report is due to be launched in November 2013.

  • Research briefings for local commissioners and NHS staff (later)

  • For further information please contact

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