An In-depth Exploratory Investigation into the Lived Experiences of Volunteers engaged with The Families Outside Charity - Helping Families Affected by Imprisonment
(2015) An In-depth Exploratory Investigation into the Lived Experiences of Volunteers engaged with The Families Outside Charity - Helping Families Affected by Imprisonment, no. 58.
This exploratory and descriptive study focuses on the 'lived experiences' of volunteers from the Families Outside Charity in Edinburgh. These volunteers work to support and help families who have been affected by imprisonment. This research utilises a phenomenological theoretical perspective thereby emphasising the importance of the personal experiences and interpretations of volunteers working on behalf of the Families Outside Charity. The main aim of this research is to investigate what motivates an individual to give up their free time to volunteer. The adoption of a phenomenological approach enables the gathering and analysis of a 'lived experience' account from the volunteers participating in the research. This research begins by critically analysing previous and current research and literature relating to lived experiences of and impact that volunteers have on charitable organisations. This dissertation particularly focusses upon the impact of that age and motivation have on volunteering. The dissertation also explores the effect that the imprisonment of a family member has on the families involved. This analysis is then contextualised within an exploration of the key aims and practice principles of the Families Outside Charity. This study utilise a qualitative data collection approach combining semi-structure interviews with the photo elicitation method 'Photo Voice'- allowing for detailed and personal results to be gathered in both words and pictures. The findings gathered in this research suggest that the fundamental motivating factor encouraging volunteers to continue their volunteering work comes from their incredible passion and admiration of the organisation. This sense of purpose is underlined by the knowledge that as an organisation Families Outside are doing everything they can to ensure that service users obtain all the support and help they require.