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Volunteers Supporting Older People in Formal Care Settings in England: Personal and Local Factors Influencing Prevalence and Type of Participation

In the UK context of financial austerity and the promotion of social responsibility through the concept of the “Big Society,” volunteers are becoming a more important part of the labour workforce. This is particularly so in the long-term care (LTC) sector, where both shortages of staff and demands for support are particularly high.

This article investigates the levels and profile of contribution of volunteers in the LTC sector using a large national data set, National Minimum Data Set for Social Care, linked to local area levels of rurality and socioeconomic status. The analysis shows that volunteer activity in formal care services varies between sectors and service types, with no strong relationship between local area deprivation, unemployment levels, and levels of volunteering. However, some significant association was found with the level of rurality. The contribution of volunteers is most evident in the provision of counselling, support, advocacy, and advice.

Hussein, S. and Manthorpe, J. (2012) Volunteers supporting older people in formal care settings in England: personal and local factors influencing prevalence and type of participation. Journal of Applied Gerontology, 33(8): 923-941.

Image credit: Joel Muniz – unsplash.com

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Founder and Director
Shereen Hussein is a Health and Social Care Policy professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), United Kingdom.
Shereen Founded the MENARAH Network in 2019, through an initial grant from the Global Challenge Research Fund, UKRI. She is a medical demographer with expertise in ageing, family dynamics, migration and long-term care systems. Shereen regularly collaborates with the United Nations, the World Health Organisation and the World Bank in policy and research focused on ageing in the Middle East and North Africa Region.
Shereen received her undergraduate degree in statistics and a postgraduate degree in computer science at Cairo University. She completed an MSc in medical demography at the London School of Hygiene and a PhD in quantitative demography and population studies at the London School of Economics and Political Science, United Kingdom.