20th November 2020

Volunteering in Health and Social Care in the context of COVID-19: making a difference in a complex landscape of rising demand.

VSSN’s next day conference will take place on 20th November 2020, hosted by the Institute for Volunteering Research at University of East Anglia in Norwich. We will explore volunteering in health and social care in the context of COVID-19, considering the opportunities and challenges encountered in a complex landscape of rising demand and the difference volunteering makes.

Pressures are growing on volunteer-involving organisations, locally based community organisations and social enterprises to respond to increasing and diverse demands for volunteers to provide health and social care services in the context of COVID-19. These range from national campaigns to recruit large numbers of new volunteers for a variety of new tasks and settings, to the need for social prescribing and increased community involvement.

This day conference specifically aims to explore:

  • the current context of volunteering in health and social care,
  • the current policy drivers
  • new and innovative approaches now being promoted to deal with demand,
  • what difference volunteering makes to health and social care, volunteers, volunteer involving organisations and wider society.




12:15 – 12:45 Annual General Meeting

Volunteering in Health and Social Care in the context of COVID-19:
making a difference in a complex landscape of rising demand

12:45 – 13:00 Participants log in

13:00 – 13:10 Welcome and Introduction (Ali Body)

13:10 – 14:00 What is it like to volunteer in health and social care under COVID-19?

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

The view from my window.
Practice insights from ‘Come singing’ and ‘Music Mirrors’ of volunteering under COVID-19.
Heather Edwards

14:00 – 14:30 Break

14:30 – 15:20 The link between volunteering and health inequalities under COVID-19?

Disconnected discourses about Patient and Public Involvement and Volunteer Involvement in English health and social care.
Professor Fiona Poland, University of East Anglia

Move at the speed of trust:
Mobilisation of volunteering in the context of health inequalities and need.
Professor Jane South, Leeds Beckett University

15:20 – 15:30 Short Break

15:30 – 15:50 Speaker Panel with questions from chat room

15:50 – 16:00 Closing and Thank you. (Jurgen Grotz)

Bookings are still open.

Attending the event

VSSN aims to promote an understanding of the UK voluntary sector through research. The event is aimed at researchers, academics, doctoral students and practitioners in voluntary organisations or foundations interested in the UK voluntary sector. We also welcome policymakers and practitioners engaged in relevant fields. We are always pleased to meet and receive contributions from colleagues in similar settings in other countries. The working language is English.