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
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.
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)
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?
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
Local projects by funding theme Source: HSCVF project monitoring forms
Evaluation design & methods Workshops (3) • Volunteers’ Views Survey • 623 volunteers • 468 online • 155 paper • 70 out of 107 projects • 40% response rate Desk-based Review Case Studies – 2 national 6 local National Interviews (9) 107 projects - 94 local and 13 national 37-item self administered questionnaire Volunteers motivations, activities and tasks (5 questions) Volunteers background (12 questions) Benefit of volunteering (6 questions) Training experiences (14 questions)
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%).
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
What benefits do you get from volunteering, if any? Source: Volunteers’ Views Survey. South et al. (2013) An evaluation of the Department of Health’s Health and Social Care Volunteering Fund
Contribution to health & social care ‘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] • 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]
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
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
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.
Thank you • Download the full report and summary from http://www.leedsmet.ac.uk/vfp/ under OUTPUTS • For further information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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.