The Institute for Volunteering Research (IVR) was set up in 1997 to undertake high quality research on volunteering.

It started out as a department of Volunteering England in 1997, became part of the research department of NCVO in 2013 and moved to the University of East Anglia in 2019. During the last twenty years, IVR has played a leading role in applied volunteering research involving volunteer organisations, the public sector, private sector and the government.

The new home for the IVR in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (FMH) helps flag the notable contribution of millions of volunteers in today’s health and social services in the UK.

IVR’s mission is to support and undertake high quality volunteering research to bring about a world in which the power and energy of volunteering and the difference volunteering and volunteering research make to individuals and communities is well understood, so that individuals can be confident and feel safe about their decision to volunteer and communities grow stronger.

 

IVR to host free half day online webinar

On 20 November 2020, IVR will host free half day online webinar for the Voluntary Sector Studies Network with fabulous speakers from Newman University, Leeds Beckett University, UEA and from volunteer involving organisations in Norwich. Places are free but limited, so please register: Volunteering in Health and Social Care in the context of COVID-19: making a difference in a complex landscape of rising demand.

PATIENT AND PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT IN HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE RESEARCH LINKED TO VOLUNTEERING

A new book to explain and promote a new approach to Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) in health and social care by drawing on wider principles including volunteering has been published, authored by Jurgen Grotz, Mary Ledgard and Fiona Poland. The authors of this “Introduction to the Theory and Practice of Patient and Public Involvement in Health and Social Care Research” are members of the Institute for Volunteering Research and the NIHR ARC East of England Inclusive Involvement in Research theme.

Jurgen says: "I am delighted to have worked with Mary and Fiona on this book which we hope will help people value the time PPI volunteers give freely to support research. We aim to show how PPI volunteers’ commitment and contribution is essential to making research be seen as relevant and connected to people's lives."  

Mary says: “The book not only gives a comprehensive history of the development of patient and public involvement over more than a century but gives practical examples of what you need to consider today to make it effective.” Fiona Poland added: “Ensuring the role of PPI volunteers can be respectfully recognised, ensures research can strengthen their inclusive involvement and their collaborative action with communities.”

VOLUNTARY ACTION AND COVID-19 – WHAT WE CAN LEARN AND HOW WE CAN RECOVER

The Institute for Volunteering Research, in a partnership of six UK universities and representatives from a variety of voluntary organisations, including the four key voluntary sector infrastructure bodies for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, will compare the volunteering response in each of the UK’s four nations, sharing positive examples with the aim of shaping future policy and supporting the UK’s economic and social recovery.
The full press release is available on the UEA website.

VOLUNTEERING LINKED TO IMPROVED LIFE SATISFACTION, HAPPINESS, AND QUALITY OF LIFE

The Institute for Volunteering Research, with the Spirit of 2012 and the What Works Centre for Wellbeing  published new research on 20 October 2020 revealing how volunteering can increase wellbeing, and how charities can avoid volunteer burnout as they plan their responses to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition to the technical report, briefing and theory of change, Dr Jurgen Grotz (Director of IVR) has produced a blog.

The full press release is available on the UEA website.

IVR delivers presentations at major UK conference

The annual Voluntary Sector and Volunteering Research Conference was held online this year under the theme Times like these’: Researching civil society responses to and recovery from COVID-19.

The slide deck and recording from 7 September 2020 are on the role of Mutual Aid Associations, the slide deck and recording from 8 September 2020 is on the health and wellbeing effects on older volunteers as a result of them having to stop their volunteering during the pandemic. 

Volunteering and COVID-19 Evidence Group

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) has been hosting weekly webinars with both national networks of volunteer involving organisations and local volunteer centres. The webinars have provided a forum for information sharing regarding the implications of COVID-19 for volunteering, at both a national and local level. An informal Evidence Group has been set up to feed into the wider network, to help ensure that the group can learn from existing evidence as well as shape new evidence collection on volunteering and COVID-19.

The webinars have provided a forum for information sharing regarding the implications of COVID-19 for volunteering, at both a national and local level. An informal Evidence Group has been set up to feed into the wider network, to help ensure that the group can learn from existing evidence as well as shape new evidence collection on volunteering and COVID-19.

If you are interested in joining the Evidence Group's regular online meetings, we have made a short leaftlet available.

More information on the COVID-19 and voluntary action: research repository is available from the Voluntary Section Studies Network (VSSN), a partner in the Volunteering and COVID-19 evidence group.