Youth volunteering in deprived areas

28 September 2016

Interim findings from PhD research into young people’s (aged 12-18) attitudes and experiences of volunteering in socio-economically deprived areas of Glasgow.

Youth Volunteering DA Gateway ImageWhile we have statistical data about young people’s attitudes towards volunteering and rates of engagement, less is known about what volunteering means to them or how they participate in it. This is particularly so for young people in disadvantaged areas whose responses may not be picked up by survey methods.

View > Youth volunteering in deprived areas (opens as pdf, 2MB)

These slides presented at the Voluntary Sector Studies Network conference 2016 present interim findings from James Davies' qualitative PhD research into young people’s (aged 12-18) attitudes and experiences of volunteering in socio-economically deprived areas of Glasgow. The slides focus on two aspects of the research: i) how young people become volunteers, ii) the value volunteering has for young people.

Data from the Scottish Household Survey indicates persons (aged 16+) in the 20% most deprived areas have a volunteering rate of 17 percent compared to the national average of 27 percent. This corroborates other evidence indicating lower levels of volunteering among disadvantaged young people. Given the benefits volunteering can give rise to, it is important to understand how young people who volunteer in such areas start doing so.

Youth volunteering initiatives are often promoted in a manner that highlights the extent to which volunteering can enhance CVs or applications. Yet researchers have argued the lives of young people in disadvantaged areas can be characterised by a lack of planning (MacDonald & Marsh, 2005) suggesting volunteering may not be approached in this manner. In light of this, it is therefore important to understand the value young people attach to volunteering.

To find out more about the research or to share any insights or feedback please contact: James Davies james.davies@strath.ac.uk (PhD student) or Matthew Linning matthew.linning@VolunteerScotland.org.uk (Volunteer Scotland).