News - 2. page

Emotion and Feelings in Voluntary Sector Work Seminar 1

Thank you to all the presenters at the October 2020 seminar. If you were not able to attend the event and see the brilliant presentations, not to worry the videos are available here:, including:

‘Emotions in Managing Volunteers’ and toolkit ‘Working with Volunteers’ developed with the National Trust. Professor Anne-Marie Greene, University of Leicester School of Business.

‘Building workplace democracy: leadership as embodied dissent’. Conor Twyford, Wellington Sexual Abuse HELP Foundation.

‘Women Leaders and Philanthropy’ Paper and Panel discussion. Rachel McGrath, Northamptonshire Community Foundation.

‘Frustrated by ‘moaning members’: a study of volunteers in associational golf clubs’. Chris Mills, Manchester Metropolitan University.

‘Emergency volunteers: how to help those who help us’. Craig Needham, H M Coastguard and Bournemouth University.

‘Examining the motivations and emotions linked to the formation of a Voluntary sewing group formed in response to Covid-19’. Beverley Glibert, University of Worcester.

‘Storytelling, Strategies, and Success: The Case of the Reproductive Rights Movement in Ireland’. Dr. Sheila Cannon, Alexandra Lamb and, Dr. Paloma Raggo, Trinity College Dublin, Carleton University, Carleton University.

‘What is it like to volunteer? A Phenomenological insight, investigating the relationship between volunteers and their organisations.’ Carol Hebden and Dr Paul McDonald, Newman University.

Emotion & Feelings in Voluntary Sector Work: April 2021 No 2 of 3 seminars

Emotion and Feelings in Voluntary Sector Work:
Second of Three seminars (now via Zoom)
April 13th (10am – 12.30pm) 2021

This is to let you know about the second of three seminars examining the role of emotion and feelings in Voluntary Sector work. This event, will run on the morning of 13th April 2021 from 10 am – 12.30 pm (British Summer Time) and will, due to current Covid restrictions be held via Zoom. We aim to provide space for developing the discussion on practice and research insights into the role of emotion and feelings in any aspect of voluntary and community work.

The overall aims of this three seminar programme are to:
• Illuminate the role of emotion and feelings within Community/Voluntary/Social enterprise (CVS) work,
• Provide explorations from research and practice,
• Explore cross-over work between practitioners and researchers in a multi-disciplinary way from two arenas: (a) Community Voluntary Social enterprise action and (b) the affective realm of feelings and emotion,
• Explore cross-over work between practitioners and researchers from two arenas: (a) CVC action and (b) the affective realm of feelings and emotion.

The story so far
The first session, on the 22nd October 2020 brought together an exciting group of more than 30 practitioners, researchers and academics from the UK, Ireland, New Zealand, Canada, USA and western Europe. We examined issues such as: volunteers in emergency situations, compassion fatigue and emotional intelligence, the role of storytelling in our work, workplace democracy and embodied dissent, and the role of women leaders and affective responsibility within refugee initiatives.

The next step

Our second session in April aims to extend and develop the discussion on these and other themes relating to emotion and feelings in Voluntary Sector Work. There will be a particular focus on examining our practice in relation to emotion and feelings in our voluntary work. Hence, we welcome back researchers and practitioners who attended session 1 as well as those who were not able to attend but wish to share and analyse their experience in this field.

Format and scope
We will be pleased to see you – as a participant or presenter – at this second of three seminars on the April 13th 2021 (10 – 12.30 pm British Summer Time). There will also be a welcome back to people – from four continents – who came to seminar 1 and a big ‘hi’ to new people.
The session will start with a brief introduction from the organisers. We’ll point to some key headlines from the first seminar, back in October, and some reflections to kick of this second seminar.

We are delighted to be joined by two exciting speakers:

Joanne Vincett (Liverpool John Moores University) who will talk about ‘Choosing to reach beyond academic goalposts: Ethnographer as compassionate advocate inside an immigration detention centre’.

Pierre Monforte (University of Leicester) will discuss ‘When Refugees Become Family Members: Private Hospitality and Affective Responsibility within Refugee Hosting Initiatives in Europe’

We’ll have plenty of time to discuss the issues around emotions and feelings in voluntary sector work further in Zoom breakout rooms. This offers you a chance to contribute and reflect on your own professional or academic experience small groups or the whole group.

Register now to take part
Please register your interest for this seminar, whether you are a presenter or a participant via this link

Due to the current Covid restrictions this seminar will take place via the Zoom conferencing programme. We will provide separate ‘rooms’ for small group discussions as well as a welcoming space for the whole group sessions.

We welcome those who took part in Session 1 as well as new participants! Bring your coffee or snack for the breaks!

Thanks to our sponsors! This event is made possible by the generous support of the Voluntary Sector Studies Network.

Women leaders in Welsh Sport online results & feedback presentation and Q&A – Philippa Davies

You are invited to attend a one-hour online session on Monday 26th April 2021 1pm-2pm on the findings of recent research into women leaders’ experience in Welsh sport. The session is aimed at all current, past and aspiring Welsh sport leaders and aims to be useful to both your organisation and the wider sector in understanding and promoting women’s representation in Welsh sport. To register your attendance please follow the link at the end of this email. Please share this email invite and link with your board members, executive leadership and any other colleagues who may be interested.

This session will start with a 30-minute presentation from Philippa Davies on the results of doctoral research conducted on women leaders’ experience in their sport leadership roles in Wales. There will then be 30 minutes of time available for any questions or comments on the research results.

The results presentation will include:
– Women sport leaders’ experience in their roles
– Factors which advantage women leaders
– Factors which disadvantage women leaders
– Differences in women leaders’ experience between sports

A bilingual written report on the results of the research will be made available to sport leaders in Wales following the session.

You are invited to a Zoom meeting.
When: Apr 26, 2021 01:00 PM London

Register in advance for this meeting:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Income Tax Relief on Annual Subscriptions

Members will be pleased to know that they can now claim tax relief on their membership subscriptions as from the 3rd December 2020. VSSN’s name will now appear in the list of approved bodies on Gov.UK. ( Remember to claim it when completing your tax returns.

Lockdown number 3

Just to keep you all up to date – the VSSN office is open and operating as usual to provide support for members. A programme of events is being organised by the Steering Group for 2021 and our research repository is available for members to keep recording the work you’re all producing during this time to be shared with others. Please get in touch if we can help.

IVR hosts free half day on line seminar

IVR hostS free half day online webinar

On 20 November 2020, IVR hosted a 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. Volunteering in Health and Social Care in the context of COVID-19: making a difference in a complex landscape of rising demand. We’re delighted to provide the recording from session one and session two of this event.

Please use the links below:

Success of our first on line Voluntary Sector and Volunteering Research Conference

Voluntary Sector and Volunteering Research e-Conference 2020

For two days over 7th-8th September the annual Voluntary Sector and Volunteering Research (VSVR) Conference was held online. For more than 20 years the National Council of Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) has partnered with the Voluntary Sector Studies Network (VSSN) to run this conference and this year the Birmingham Voluntary Sector Centre for Voluntary Action (BVSC) also joined this collaborative effort.

The theme of this first e-conference was ‘‘Times like these’: Researching civil society responses to and recovery from COVID-19’ and we were really pleased at the response from practitioners and academics presenting up-to-date research on the current situation and recovery from the pandemic. The programme comprised two plenaries and two sessions on each of four themes, a session with the Editors of Voluntary Sector Review and two book launches.

Professor Tracey Coule and Associate Professor Chris Dayso launched the conference by considering theoretical frames to consider civil society’s responses to Covid-19. Themes that emerged included the way we frame civil society-government relationships and mutual aid groups, which indeed became recurring themes throughout the conference. These themes, as well as how civil society organisations have reformed and changed their practice, were also carried forward to the plenary on Day 2 with presentations by Karl Wilding (NCVO)   Anna Fowlie (Scottish Council of Voluntary Organisations) Brian Carr (BVSC) & Affan Cheema (Islamic Relief Worldwide). Carolyn Cordery who chaired the session ably assisted by Jon Dean.

A focus on volunteer mobilisation to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic brought papers from England, Scotland, Wales and British Columbia. And, while much mobilisation depends on organisations, the pandemic has seen returns to neighbourly volunteering and the geography of voluntary action being disrupted. The second volunteering session focused more on the experience of volunteering during the pandemic, from volunteer and organisational perspectives .

Philanthropy, fundraising and funding issues were the topic of session 1a and to some extent the cross-cutting issues in Session 3b. The research presented in these sessions was very varied, considering issues such as financial vulnerability and good grant making, the effects of furloughing on fundraisers, as well as governance, the role of local infrastructure and how social services data can help researchers understand Covid-19 responses.

As Covid-19 has had such a huge impact on society, it was unsurprising that two sessions discussed research taking ‘micro, meso and macro perspectives’ on voluntary organisations and Covid-19. Again with papers from England and Scotland, these sessions considered responses from local and national organisations working with homelessness, criminal justice, poverty and community businesses, as well as highlighting the lived experience of people.

Picking up the theme of mutual aid, two sessions considered both the conceptual insights and those from the frontline. These focussed on such issues as democratic participation, the influence of international responses on local mutual aid groups, neighbourhoods and umbrella organisations.

While we missed being able to chat to each other and presenters physically, as we would have done in a physical conference, the e-conference was a great experience and opportunity to share cutting edge research with a wider range of people than would otherwise have been possible, both engaging people who are physically distant from the UK and through social media. The sessions were recorded and can be found at: The next VSVR Conference is scheduled for 6th-7th September 2021 in Birmingham. We hope to see you there!






Steering Group elections 2020

Opportunities to become more involved with the Voluntary Sector Studies Network and Voluntary Sector Review 

Would you like to support the work of VSSN more actively? Do you have ideas about how you’d like to see the network develop?

If so, please consider nominating yourself for a place on either or both of:

  • the VSSN Steering Group
  • the Editorial Management Board of Voluntary Sector Review, the journal produced by VSSN with Policy Press.

VSSN is a volunteer-led organisation and its success relies very much on the commitment, time and energy of members of these two groups. 

VSSN Steering Group (SG)

This year there are three vacancies on the Steering Group.

The term of office is normally three years in the first instance. The maximum term allowed by the constitution is six consecutive years. Being a member of the Steering Group means also becoming a trustee of the VSSN.

Specific roles on the Steering Group are allocated by agreement after the election. Roles include Chair, Treasurer, Secretary and leading on, for example, membership and marketing, day seminars and the annual conference.

What are we looking for in a member of the SG? Commitment to VSSN and its continued success is the most important quality, but this year we are also keen to encourage self-nominations from members with skills/experience in accountancy/ numeric analysis, event organization and membership development.    We also want to improve the diversity of the Steering Group and would welcome interest from under represented groups who can bring lived experience which may be of value to our Network.

Details of existing Steering Group members and their roles can be found at VSR Editorial Management Board (EMB)

This year there are two vacancies for the VSR Editorial Management Board (EMB). The term of office is three years in the first instance, with an opportunity to stand for another three-year term.

The role of the EMB is to:

  • support the editorial team (currently Daiga Kamerade, Carl Milofsky and James Rees)
  • ensure that high editorial standards are maintained
  • represent VSSN in working with the publisher, Policy Press
  • ensure the journal is produced in accordance with the Publisher’s Agreement.

Additional roles

If you would like to be more involved but don’t want to join the Steering Group or Editorial Management Board, there are other voluntary roles which are equally valuable and help us develop our networks and activities. For example, we are currently looking for:

  • people to join our ‘small grants committee’
  • people to join a new team we are setting up to help shortlist the best paper award at next year’s Voluntary Sector and Volunteering Research Conference
  • a volunteer to moderate the VSSN email discussion list – an important role but not an onerous one which would only take a few minutes of your time each week and full training will be available if required.

If you are interested in finding out more about any of these roles please contact Jane Cullingworth on You must be a current member of VSSN.

If you have any questions about the self-nomination process or would like a copy of a nomination form, you can find the forms here (please complete the forms by pasting into a word document and sending by email) or please contact us by email via We look forward to receiving your nomination forms soon. Nominations close on Friday 23rd October.

VSSN’s repository for research on Covid-19 and voluntary action

As part of VSSN’s goal to help maximise the visibility and impact of Voluntary Sector focussed research, we are collating research projects which focus on VCS and volunteering responses to, recovery from and implications of the COVID-19 pandemic. We have had a great response, and there are 18 studies to explore on this page.

If you would like your project to be visible on the VSSN website, please fill in the form here. It would be great to hear about projects in development as well as those in progress, as this should help to reduce any risk of duplication and open up possibilities of collaboration.

Read more and submit your research project here.