Challenging Volunteers and Volunteering in a Challenging Environment
Jackson, Jade (University of Wolverhampton) (2015)

With current austerity’s significant impact upon the public sector/community sports provision, the sports volunteer is becoming a distinct feature in the implementation of physical activity intervention. Further supported through the implementation of policy, sport provision and the third/voluntary sectors have developed a somewhat symbiotic relationship. With funding from Sport England’s Get Healthy, Get Active initiative, the Black Country in Motion (BCiM) physical activity intervention aims at increasing physical activity in the physically inactive milieu within the Black Country. Furthermore, pertaining to notions of developing social capital, the BCiM additionally aims to provide a sustainable community sport provision, led by volunteers within these communities. With significantly high levels of deprivation, the Black Country area experience high levels of socio-economic and educational inequalities. Thus volunteering demographics for this group challenge the ‘conventional’ or ‘stereotypical’ volunteer profile, with many volunteers experiencing a plethora of challenges ranging from literacy difficulties, criminal records to difficulties in retention. This research identifies challenges faced not only by the facilitators of this intervention but the volunteers through an exploration of emergent findings and case studies.


Jade Jackson is PhD student at the University of Wolverhampton exploring the socio-psychological impact and delivery of sport development within areas of high deprivation such as the Black Country. As a ‘born and bred’ Black Country woman, I am passionate for the emancipatory aspects sport and physical wellbeing can bring to such communities. My teaching and research interests are primarily within inclusive sport and physical activity, social psychology, sport development and sport policy. I have previously worked in special educational needs and social inclusion from community coaching to delivering physical education and have a distinct passion for teaching and lecturing.

Presented at