Continuity and change in volunteering through times of economic prosperity and adversity: a mixed-methods longitudinal secondary analysis.

Lead Research Organisation: University of Southampton
Department Name: School of Social Sciences

Abstract

Much emphasis is being placed on the role of the volunteer in British society. The Coalition government's policies envisage that more needs can be met through community initiative, relying on voluntary effort. The Government's 'Big Society' policies give expression to this idea; the Big Society can be thought of as a framework of initiatives and legislation, such as the 2011 Localism Act, that will give neighbourhood groups new rights and powers to act on behalf of their community. The assumption is that individuals have the capacities and willingness to volunteer on behalf of their communities to provide the things the community needs. The volunteer is talked of as a vital member of British society.

Most British adults undertake some sort of voluntary unpaid work, whether this be informal activity such as providing help to family and non-family members within their community, or more formal activity such as providing regular help to an organisation, campaigning about a particular issue; or being politically active. We know a lot about volunteering in Britain today from statistical sources such as surveys, but these often provide static pictures of volunteering at specific points. We know little about how attitudes to volunteering, and volunteering behaviours, have continued or changed over time, or about how those trends relate to wider socioeconomic changes.

Our project will look at volunteering between 1981-2012, a timeframe which includes a period of recession and public service cuts until the mid-1990s, followed by a period of relative prosperity in the mid-1990s-2008, and then by the current downturn. We will look for changes and continuities in volunteering during these different periods, exploring how individuals' motivations to volunteer have changed over time. Have there been changes in the socio-economic characteristics of volunteers over time? How have volunteers balanced paid and unpaid work? Do today's volunteers feel that they have further capacity to volunteer, if required to do so? What views have individuals held, on who should meet public need - the state, the local community, or the individual? How have these changed over time?

Answers to these questions need to be based on longitudinal data that follow individuals over time. Ideally we need to provide estimates that are representative of the population as well as detailed insights into individuals' views. To meet these needs, we are proposing an innovative mixed-methods approach. We will examine data from the Mass Observation Project, where people freely write on topics such as voluntary unpaid work, welfare, volunteering and the state. This gives rich longitudinal information that provide us with insight into how and why people change or continue with particular view points and volunteering behaviours. We will complement this qualitative data with longitudinal survey data sets. The analysis will include panel data that ask the same questions about volunteering of a representative sample of people, following them over a number of years, and repeated cross-sectional survey data that ask questions about how people feel about provision of welfare benefits, and the role of the government in meeting particular social needs at a particular point in time. These population-level quantitative data give us a good understanding of change and continuity in volunteering. This reuse and bringing together of qualitative writing and survey data represents a new way of looking at volunteering. It also represents a new way of thinking about how we use data, and may be of value to others researching in the field of sociology, social policy or contemporary British social history.

This study generates impact by contributing to academic and non-academic understanding of volunteering, furthers knowledge in relation to methodological approaches by combining longitudinal qualitative and quantitative data, and informs debates around contemporary policy interventions

Planned Impact

The research has the potential to support effective management of and support for volunteers both in the short and long term through increased understanding of volunteering attitudes, behaviour and experiences, and of how these may be shaped by changing economic conditions over time. Volunteer-involving agencies will better understand the experiences of current and potential participants, and can plan involvement strategies accordingly. In particular, we have the opportunity to add immediate value to work to build sustainable local communities undertaken by the new economics foundation who will be involved as users of the research throughout the project's lifetime. These benefits can therefore contribute to increasing the effectiveness of public services, which are to a growing degree being delivered by relying on greater inputs from volunteers, and to enhancing quality of life, since a fuller understanding of voluntary action should increase the extent to which individuals benefit from undertaking it.

Social researchers in academic and non-academic organisations will also benefit from this research substantively and methodologically. Substantively, knowledge about volunteering and how we may measure and understand it will be increased and in the longer term this will feed through into further research - and also into teaching in the case of academic researchers. Methodologically, the project will enhance research skills and capacity: in the immediate term, this will be through the transcription and archival deposit of MO directives for reuse by other researchers; in the longer term through the bringing together of qualitative and quantitative longitudinal data sets for secondary analysis in social research.

The skills of the early career staff working on the project will be enhanced through developing expertise about understandings and experiences of volunteering and researching it over time using archived data. We also envisage that these staff will gain skills and experience through being able to play a leading role in managing the proposed project. This academic and practical experience and knowledge will stand them in good stead in the wider job market in the longer term.

The main beneficiaries from the research outputs will be users from:

1. The third sector, including a range of volunteer-involving organisations both large and small. We know of interest on the part of large national organisations, e.g. the National Trust, in work investigating longitudinal aspects of volunteer supply and motivation. Beneficiaries will also include organisations that play a substantial role in recruiting volunteers, such as local Councils for Voluntary Service, or national organisations such as Community Service Volunteers.

2. Third and private sector research and consultancy agencies / think tanks; the new economics foundation is involved as an advisory board member and user of research outputs but others would include the Institute for Volunteering Research, the Institute for Voluntary Action Research, the RSA, Demos, the Young Foundation, and ResPublica. Findings would also be of benefit to funders of voluntary organisations, such as Community Foundations.

3. Government, notably the Department for Communities and Local Government, and the Office for Civil Society in the Cabinet Office.

4. Businesses concerned with the recruitment and motivation of volunteers as part of corporate social responsibility programmes.

5. Public sector agencies and organisations delivering public services, who also use substantial numbers of volunteers, and may do so to a growing degree; these would include, at a minimum, NHS trusts, the education, police and social services, and leisure and cultural services.

Other groups who may benefit from the research include:

6. Volunteers themselves and the general public.

7. Academics.
 
Description TRAJECTORIES IN AND OUT OF VOLUNTEERING
Our project fills a gap in knowledge about the volunteering behaviours of engaged British citizens over time. Our analyses of mixed longitudinal data enabled us to identify patterns of engagement with volunteering over a considerable portion of the individual life-course.

We found that more than two-thirds (71 percent) of representative British Household Panel Survey/Understanding Society (BHPS/US) survey participants who reported volunteering between 1996 and 2011 volunteered only once or twice during this 15 year timeframe. This high proportion of individuals contributed less than half of the volunteering activity (46%) undertaken by BHPS/US participants in this timeframe.

The proportion of people who were long-term volunteers between 1996 and 2011 is relatively small, amounting to less than a third (29 percent) of BHPS/US participants. Crucially however, this small proportion of individuals contributed over half (54%) the total amount of voluntary activity reported by BHPS/US respondents over time.

The 38 Mass Observation Project (MOP) writers sampled for this study were long-term volunteers whose writing offered insights into trajectories in and out of formal and informal volunteering over the life-course. Writers discussed how and why they stopped, started, and continued volunteering across their life-courses. This enabled us to identify six patterns of participation.

We found writers who:

1. did no additional volunteering apart from their MOP writing (n.2);
2. contributed one additional short-term piece of volunteering (n.2);
3. were stop-start volunteers (n.6);
4. stuck to one or two causes over their volunteering life-course (n.7);
5. were pragmatic volunteers, swapping their volunteering in response to needs created by life-events such as a child starting nursery, or school (n.11);
6. liked or needed change, and regularly swapped the causes and organisations for which they volunteered (n.10).
Triggers for exiting or entering different types of volunteering included life events such as starting or leaving a job, children entering the education system, or a spouse taking retirement. Events that represented a trigger for exiting volunteering for some writers, represented a trigger for entering volunteering for others.

Given that recruitment and retention of volunteers are key issues for policy makers and practitioners, we advocated a policy shift in focus away from individual motivations for volunteering, to a focus on the stages of the life-course when people are most likely to exit or enter volunteering.

INCREASING ACCESS TO MOP WRITING
We are the first researchers to follow individual MOP writers across time. We highlighted the longitudinal and mixed-method research opportunities offered by the MOP through presentations, a workshop, and a blog. Researchers with whom we have shared our expertise have since begun using the archive longitudinally.

Our work on sampling MOP writing led to our engagement in debates about the representativeness of MOP writers; and our discovery of underutilised qualitative and quantitative MOA data. In partnership with the Mass Observation Archive (MOA) we gained funding for a subsequent project which asks: 'Who are the MOP writers?' This will open up the resource to more users, enabling more confident sampling of MOP writing.
Exploitation Route This is the first British research on longitudinal volunteering behaviours and attitudes. Our findings provide policy makers and voluntary organisations with insights into how individuals negotiate volunteering across their lives.

We have identified the proportions and characteristics of people who are short-term and continuous long-term volunteers; how much they contribute; and why both types of contribution are valuable to British society. These findings provide policy makers and voluntary organisations with insights that will enable them to recruit these two groups for different purposes, and manage their expectations of these groups.

Our qualitative work found that few writers concurred on the definition of volunteering, and few considered their volunteering within a national context. There appear to be key stages in the lives of long-term volunteers, when they are most likely to enter, exit, or swap their volunteering. Developing these findings further could change the way in which policy makers, practitioners and local organisations conceptualise volunteering, and enable them to target people at particular life-stages for recruitment and retention.

Our innovative combining of longitudinal survey data with Mass Observation Project (MOP) data, and our longitudinal use of MOP writing, opened up opportunities for researcher to work in new ways with MOP data.
Sectors Communities and Social Services/Policy,Education,Government, Democracy and Justice,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections,Other

URL https://longitudinalvolunteering.wordpress.com/
 
Description The project continues to have reach to non-academic communities, informing practitioner and policy-maker, as well as academic audiences. Early work undertaken by this project in 2013, on The Big Society, included the presentation of academic papers to the British Sociological Association, and the Political Studies Association, and the publication of an accessible online working paper, all of which attracted attention in the online press community. Publications such as The Third Sector magazine; Charity Financials; Public Finance; oneastmidlands.org.uk; the social policy digest; and The Guardian, reported on our findings (although we note that not all reported particularly accurately). Since then this paper has been used by some voluntary action organisations; for example, the London Voluntary Service Council (LVSC), drew on the paper for their work on 'The Big Squeeze'. In 2014 we shared quantitative data findings from the project with the new economics foundation, to inform their work on the voluntary sector, the Big Society, and time-banking. In September 2014 we presented our findings to the Voluntary Sector Studies Network (VSSN) conference to a combined audience of policy makers, practitioners and academics. We were informed by attendees and discussants that the project's findings on routes into and out of volunteering provide new ways of conceptualising volunteering, 'pushing forward our understanding of volunteering'. The paper attracted considerable interest and provoked discussion during and after the presentation. In July 2014 we reached international policy and practitioner audiences, presenting a paper at the International Society for Third Sector Research in Munster, in July. The team from United Nations Volunteering expressed an interest in our work on trajectories in volunteering, and requested a copy of the paper. In 2015, our work on volunteering trajectories was publicised through a small article in the ESRC's 'Society Now' (Autumn 2015, Issue 23) 'Long-term volunteering uncommon'. We were also invited to give a presentation at the State of Social Capital in Britain in November 2015 as part of the ESRC's Festival of Social Science, which was attended by voluntary sector practitioners, social action pioneers, public service reformers, policy makers, think tanks and academics. We subsequently published this as an open access online working paper. We also reported to NCVO's Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise Sector Review in 2015. In September 2018, Dr Lindsey presented to a mixed audience of practitioners, stakeholders and academics at the VSSN conference at the NCVO in London. The presentation brought together findings from this project, with findings from analysis of Mass Observation data from the 1940s undertaken for another project she is working on as a Co-I, on Discourses of Voluntary Action (PI Hardill), comparing attitudes towards voluntary action at 2 different time-points - the 1940s and the 2010s. The publication of our book, Continuity and Change in Voluntary Action: Patterns, trends and understandings by Policy Press, in June 2018 was followed by blogs or coverage on the Mass Observation, Policy Press and Third Sector (the main "trade press" journal) as well as by a piece in The Conversation. A presentation at a conference organised by the Association of Volunteer Managers and NCVO in June 2018 also drew the attention of a wider audience to the findings, particularly in relation to new ways of thinking about the routes into and out of volunteering, and practical considerations of when in the life-course practitioners and policy makers might capture and retain volunteers. There was further evidence that the book was reaching a wider audience with its citation in a report written by Rochester 'Volunteer Now' for the Building Change Trust, and a Northern Irish voluntary sector audience. In February 2019 some of the findings from the book were used in the Third Sector Centre's (TSRC) 10th anniversary event 'Continuity and change in an era of instability: developing a shared agenda for voluntary action research and practice' a full day workshop organised in collaboration with BVSC, The Centre for Voluntary Action, in Birmingham. The event was attended by more than 100 very enthusiastic people, including practitioners, academics, and regional and national stakeholders. A participatory workshop entitled 'Great expectations: what does continuity and change in volunteering mean for its ability to deliver?' used findings from the project/book as a starting point to discuss this question, the session was led by Dr Angela Ellis Paine (TSRC) Ruth Leonard (Chair of the Association of Volunteer Managers and Head of Volunteering Development, Macmillan Cancer Support) and Dr Rose Lindsey (PI). In March 2019, the book was critically acclaimed by Professor Ram Cnaan of the University of Pennsylvania, a leading voice in the study of voluntary action, in a book review published in Voluntary Sector Review. Cnaan describes the book as 'ground-breaking and fascinating with innovative methods paired with interesting findings', standing 'shoulder to shoulder with what I used to term as "the bible of volunteering studies" Volunteers: A social profile by Marc Musick and John Wilson. We anticipate this review will lead to wider take-up and readership of the book, which is due out in paperback format in spring 2019. Dr Lindsey has also been invited to present on the book to Oxford University's Department of Sociology seminar series, and will present to the department in the spring of 2019. METHODOLOGICAL IMPACTS: The project also had methodological impacts. We drew on Mass Observation writing as a source of secondary data, and identified that this writing could be used longitudinally. We talked about this in a Mass Observation conference in 2012, when we discussed how we sampled Mass Observation writers, when bidding for funding from the ESRC's Secondary Data Analysis Initiative. We have been informed, anecdotally by the Archive, that this has changed the way in which people are approaching the Archive - individual researchers (lay and academic) have been able to see the potential to follow writers through time. This conference paper, and the process of applying for funding to the ESRC, led to us successfully bidding for further funding for another ESRC secondary data project (ES/LO13819/1). This subsequent project opens up the Mass Observation Archive's metadata, and makes it easier for all users of the archive, and potential users, to use the Archive. It also enables people using the Archive to do so confidently, by providing robust data on who the writers are, making them a knowable sample (responding to older criticisms that the Archive is not representative of the broader British public). We have noted that an online paper published out of this conference has been used by lecturers at the University of Bristol, as part of their undergraduate course 'Investigating the Social'. There have been several requests amongst academic audiences to update this article, in the light of more recent work done. The project has also developed our understanding of longitudinal mixed-methods, which we have been applying to other types of research. We advised the research team seeking funding to investigate the changing experiences of people who use mental health services 2006 to 2015 on mixed-methods and use of qualitative data. The funding was successful, we hope this project will impact positively on the lives of mental health service-users, by producing examples of good practice, and identifying where these individuals are being failed by service providers. In another project, we hope to employ longitudinal mixed-methods to investigate changing individual experiences of, and attitudes to minority communities using an intersectional lens. Again, we hope, if successful this will have a positive impact on people who come from minority groups.
First Year Of Impact 2013
Sector Communities and Social Services/Policy,Education,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections,Other
Impact Types Cultural,Societal,Policy & public services

 
Description Contribution to the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise Sector Review
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a national consultation
 
Description Creation and use of course materials on longitudinal and mixed methods opportunities provided by Mass Observation Project data
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
 
Description Defining Mass Observation
Amount £200,000 (GBP)
Funding ID ES/L013819/1 
Organisation Economic and Social Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 12/2015 
End 07/2016
 
Description ESRC Research Grant
Amount £600,000 (GBP)
Funding ID ES/N018249/1 
Organisation Economic and Social Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 07/2017 
End 06/2019
 
Title Using Mass Observation Archive data longitudinally and as part of a mixed-methods project 
Description This project has broken new ground in the use of Mass Observation Archive data - this is the first time that a group of individual Mass Observation Project writers (1981-2014) have been followed across time 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2013 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact We have presented this research innovation to conferences. We also blogged about our longitudinal use of the Mass Observation Project. This has raised awareness that the archive could be used in this way. Several researchers have demonstrated interest in taking up this approach, and we have been informed of several individuals who have applied for funding using this approach, subsequently, as a result of our initiative. In April 2012 we submitted our funding bid to the ESRC and presented at the July 2012 Mass Observation Conference, where we had several discussions with individuals who were interersted in the longitudinal opportunities offered by the Mass Observation project. We had a long discussion with the historian James Hinton, botjh about the longitudinal opportunities of MOP and how to use MOP metadata to follow individual writers, This researcher has gone on to use the Mass Observation Archive to follow individual writers and explore their life-courses. He has subsequently published a longitudinal piece on 7 Mass Observers. We presented on this research at the Research Methods Festival in July 2014; and we ran a training workshop on longitudinal and mixed-method use of Mass Observation in October 2014. Some of those who attended the Research Methods Festival presentation also attended the training workshop. Workshop attendees included undergraduates, post-graduates, ECRs and established researchers. Feedback was very positive, with researchers very interested in pursuing longitudinal use of Mass Observation 
 
Title BHPS, BSAS, and CS analyses 
Description Analyses of individual trajectories through volunteering 1996-2011 
Type Of Material Data analysis technique 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact Results have been shared in conferences, with considerable interests in individual trajectories into volunteering. Results have also been shared with new economics foundation who wanted access to survey data analysis findings 
 
Description Collaboration with new economics foundation 
Organisation New Economics Foundation
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution At the project design stage of this project we began working with the new economics foundation (nef) in order to identify some collaborative ways of working in partnership. There were several cross-overs in interests, relating to volunteering, time, the 'Big Society', attitudes towards the welfare state. nef identified that they did not have the skill-base or time to analyse panel survey data. Therefore we agreed that we would provide them with findings from our analyses of panel survey data. We met with, and also skyped nef to exchange findings from our analyses - providing them with accessible quantitative findings,
Collaborator Contribution nef were a member of our advisory board. They were able to provide us with some top tips on use of social media to enable us to provide impact for this study
Impact Skype presentation of findings
Start Year 2013
 
Description Partnership working with the Mass Observation Archive 
Organisation Mass Observation Archive
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Involvement in the archive's digitisation project, donating digitised and transcribed writer's responses to the archive to help with the digitisation project that they were involved in, with the UK Data Archive Development of a cluster bid to the SDAI Secondary Data Analysis Initiative phase 2 Development of a successful SDAI Secondary Data Analysis Initiative phase 2 Invited to speak at a conference, and to take part in a webinar Co-produced a training event held at the Mass Observation Archive's premises in Brighton entitled 'Introducing the Mass Observation Project (1981-2014) as a data resource for researchers Deposition more transcribed and digitised writers' scripts with the archive In the process of developing a third SDAI Secondary Data Analysis bid, to look at measuring protected characteristics of writers, involving Kirsty Pattrick from the MOA as an early career co-investigator Help extended to other researchers working with the MOA Creation of an online, sustainable, downloadable database Discussions with Mass Observation Archive material which has enabled the archive to perceive its writing and metadata on writers and writing as data, which represents a shift in conceptualising archival holdings, and how collection of data takes place.
Collaborator Contribution - Provision of metadata on Mass Observation writers - Help relating to sources and writers when needed, including emails and phonecalls - Provision of digitisation facilities - Attendance at an advisory board - Co-production of ideas, working on a successful Secondary Data Analysis Initiative phase 2 bid 'Defining Mass Observation' working to make the Mass Observation Project writers a more knowable sample, to enable confident use and sampling of the archive -Co-production of ideas, working on a Secondary Data Analysis bid to measure how many writers come from minority groups, and to consider how to recruit further from these groups - Taking part in Skype sessions to discuss progress and to discuss methodologies, such as computer assisted qualitative data analysis of scripts with colleagues at the University of Surrey - Co-produced and hosted training event held at the Mass Observation Archive's premises in Brighton entitled 'Introducing the Mass Observation Project (1981-2014) as a data resource for researchers'
Impact December 2019 began working on a bid entitled 'Misssing voices in the Mass Observation Archive' 2019 submissions to journals for articles on class, on lifecourse, on 'who are the MO writers', and how to use CAQDAS as a tool to analyse MOP writing July 2017 panel at MO Conference, on who are the mass observers, produced 3 highly attended papers, available via MO online 2016 online, downloadable database which enables users to find out more about who mass observation writers are, and to sample from the panel of writers http://database.massobs.org.uk/ From 2016 MOA have developed training materials drawing on the database, which they deliver to individuals, community groups, academics and students from a variety of different disciplines Website on Defining Mass Observation - https://definingmassobservation.wordpress.com/ December 2014, starting work on successful SDAI phase 2 project 'Defining Mass Observation' October 2014 'Introducing the Mass Observation Project (1981-2014) as a data source for researchers' a multidiscilpinary interactive day event for researchers, attendees including established, doctoral, undergraduate and lay researchers. August 2014 - Lindsey R., and Bulloch S.L. 'A sociologist's field notes to the Mass Observation Archive: a consideration of the challenges of 're-using' Mass Observation data in a longitudinal mixed-methods study of civic engagement', 2014, Sociological Research Online April 2013 - Lindsey R. and Bulloch S.L ' How we have used MOA writer's responses to Mass Observation Directives' invited to speak at Mass Observation as Method Conference, organised by the Mass Observation Archive University of Sussex, London. July 2012 - Opportunities and challenges in using longitudinal Mass Observation data for mixed methods research: Lessons learnt from the preparation of a funding bid 75th Anniversary of the Mass Observation Archive Conference, Mass Observation Archive Conference, held at the University of Sussex
Start Year 2013
 
Description Opportunities and challenges in using longitudinal Mass Observation data for mixed methods research: Lessons learnt from the preparation of a funding bid 75th Anniversary of the Mass Observation Archive Conference, Mass Observation Archive Conference, he 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact We took part in a panel session, describing how we had written a funding bid which used Mass Observation Project (MOP) data in an innovative way - longitudinally and as part of a mixed-methods project. It provoked considerable discussion about the possibilities of using MOP data longitudinally, with other sources, and with quantitative data sources. The audience consisted of academics, lay researchers and lay attendees, Mass Observation staff and Mass Observation writers.
Both of these activities increased interest in the MOP as a source of data

We were invited to submit an abstract for an interdisciplinary special edition of Sociological Research Online, to write on the subject of 'Mass Observation as method'
We were invited to present at a conference/workshop event being held by the Mass Observation Archive in London on 'How we have used MOA writer's responses to Mass Observation Directives'
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
 
Description '30 years of volunteering: a longitudinal study of volunteering behaviour between 1981 and 2012' in 20th Voluntary Sector and Volunteering Research Conference, VSSN Conference, Sheffield 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact We presented a paper at a panel of the Voluntary Sector Studies Network conference held in Sheffield. The room was full, and we estimate 50 people attended our paper. The paper suggested new ways for policy makers and practitioners to think about recruiting and retaining volunteers, and provoked interest during and after the session.

The audience were interested in new ways of perceiving the study of volunteering, which focuses on 'how' people volunteer - which is more immediate and has potential policy outcomes in relation to the recruitment and retention of volunteers
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://www.ncvo.org.uk/training-and-events/research-conference
 
Description A workshop on developing a shared agenda for voluntary action research and practice 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Third sector organisations
Results and Impact More than 100 people attended a full day workshop, organised in collaboration with BVSC, The Cenre for Voluntary Action, in Birmingham. The event was attended by more than 100 very enthusastic people, including practitioners, third sector organisations, regional and national stakeholders. It included a particpatory workshop entitled 'Great expectations: what does continuity and change in volunteering mean for its ability to deliver?' led by Dr Angela Ellis Paine, Ruth Leonard Chair of the Association of Volunteer Managers and Head of Volnteering Development, Macmillan Cancer Support) and Dr Rose Lindsey and used findings from the project as a starting point to address and discuss this question.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.bvsc.org/events-and-training/continuity-and-change-era-instability-developing-shared-age...
 
Description ARNOVA Conference Washington DC 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Third sector organisations
Results and Impact Paper presented at the ARNOVA conference, an international conference attended by third sector organisations, practitioners and policy makers
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Blog 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Analysis of blog use shows that the website is visited regularly.
We have had several emails stating that the website is really interesting.
Interest in the substantive findings of the mixed-method project


Some website visitors attended our training event in October 2014
Some website visitors have said that they now want to use the Mass Observation Archive
One website visitor said she wanted to use mixed-methods
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013,2014
URL http://longitudinalvolunteering.wordpress.com/
 
Description Blog aimed at professionals and volunteers in the third sector, arguing for realism in expectations of change in volunteering levels 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Third sector organisations
Results and Impact This was a short summary of our book on volunteering for the main trade paper, Third Sector, in June 2018
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.thirdsector.co.uk/john-mohan-rose-lindsey-realistic-volunteering/volunteering/article/14...
 
Description Blog for the general public via The Conversation 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Contribution to The Conversation, outlining key findings of our book on volunteering
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://theconversation.com/volunteering-levels-static-since-the-1980s-despite-all-the-efforts-to-inc...
 
Description Blog published by Policy Press in Volunteers Week, to mark the publication of our major book based on this project 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Communcation of findings to a wider audience including both academics and non-academics
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://policypress.wordpress.com/2018/06/05/volunteers-week-the-future-of-volunteering
 
Description British Sociological Association Conference, London 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact Approximately 30 people attended the presentation, but the findings from this presentation had substantial coverage in the press, particularly third sector press

Downloading of working paper from TSRC website
Phone-calls from the press
Wide reporting of the paper
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description International Society for study of the Third Sector (ISTR) Munster, Germany 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact Our abstract was published in the ISTR conference programme, and the panel and presentation were well attended. Various practitioners and academics asked questions, and discussed these further after the presentation had finished.

A senior member of a team from UN Volunteers asked for a copy of our paper, and details of our website
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://www.publicengagement.ac.uk/events/international-society-third-sector-research-istr-conference
 
Description Introducing the Mass Observation Project (1981-2014) as a data source for researchers 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact 18 people signed up for this activity. They were a mixed audience of post-doctoral researchers, doctoral students, undergraduates and lay researchers. We held an interactive day long workshop, introducing the Mass Observation Project to people who were very new users of the archive, or who had never used the archive. Participants had a tour of the archive, discussion of challenges in using the archive, introduction to older sources held by the archive, discussion of ethics, and hands-on work with sample scripts.
The event was widely advertised but capped at 20 attendees. We reached far more than the those that attended through different electronic lists and targeted invitations to: The Voluntary Sector Studies Network; the National Centre for Research Methods; different doctoral training centres; different Universities; the Mass Observation Archive list and our website.

Emails from people interested in the workshop, but unable to attend on that date.
Attendees feedback was excellent, describing how the workshop had enabled them to feel confident about using the archive, but also enabled them to think differently about methodological issues such as ethics and sampling. Most attendees were 'qualitative' researchers, however by the end of the day, all were engaging with mixed-methods materials in a very positive way
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://longitudinalvolunteering.wordpress.com/
 
Description Piece written for Mass Observation Archive 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Participants in your research and patient groups
Results and Impact The bulletin is about to be published, so as yet no results

The bulletin is about to be published, so as yet no notable impacts
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Political Studies Association, Cardiff 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact Presentation was attended by a relatively large audience

Increase in interest in the Mass Observation Archive from political scientists
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Presentation at the Association of Volunteer Managers and NCVO 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Third sector organisations
Results and Impact Discussion of new ways of thinking about routes into and out of volunteering and practical consideations of when in the life-course practitioners and policy makers might capture and retain volunteers
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Presentations at the Mass Observation Archive 80th anniversary conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact We presented three papers which provided attendees with information on how to use the new Mass Observation Project database, and how it can help users of the archive with sampling; on what we have found out about the demographic characteristics of Mass Observation Project writers; and how users of the archive might draw on the 2008 Your Lifeline Mass Observation Project directive to find out more about Mass Observation Project writers. The session sparked many questions and discussions immediately after the presentations, and during the course of the conference. One of the papers delivered was discussed at the final plenary, as being a paper that had contributed much to discussion during the conference. After the conference we received several enquiries from postgraduate students on use of the database, as well as requests for sharing data. We also presented a paper on findings from The Continuity and Change in Volunteering project, which resulted in subsequent discussion amongst attendees, in particular third sector attendees.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.massobs.org.uk/about/news/148-anniversary-conference-celebrating-80-years-of-the-mass-obs...
 
Description Research Methods Festival (Oxford) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact This was a very well attended panel session, organised by the project team, on longitudinal mixed-methods. We presented at the session. There was lively discussion and questions during and after the panel session.

Several people suggested that we publish the panel, given how interesting it had been.
Several people suggested that they may begin to use mixed-methods
One attendee has decided to use some of the data sources discussed (Mass Observation Project and the 1958 birth cohort) for her PhD and attended our 'Introduction to the Mass Observation Project as a data source for researchers' interactive day event
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://www.ncrm.ac.uk/RMF2014/home.php
 
Description Understanding voluntary action through 80 Years of Mass Observation data 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Third sector organisations
Results and Impact The talk examined mass observation data asking what differences and similarities can we identify in public views relating to the provision of social welfare services by the state and the voluntary sector? It drew on material from writing and street surveys undertaken in the 1940s at the start of the welfare state, and compared this with public views articulated on The Big Society in 2012 and work undertaken by the Continuity and Change in Volunteering Project. It compared these with later views on welfare provision in 2018. It was part of a panel of papers, presented for the Discourses of Voluntary Action project, which examined public, state and voluntary sector narratives at these different time points. There was some lively discussion.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018