Volunteering and wellbeing during the Coronavirus pandemic

Volunteering has played a crucial role in supporting communities during the pandemic. Interest in volunteering saw a dramatic spike early in the pandemic, and volunteers have helped meet people’s emotional and physical needs during the crisis. There is widespread interest from policymakers and practitioners in maintaining this activity to contribute to a wellbeing-led recovery in Wales.

To inform this recovery planning, we conducted two studies on the contribution of volunteering to individual and community wellbeing during the pandemic: a synthesis of 50 practice-based case studies using a case study synthesis method (Part 1: Learning from practice) and a rapid evidence review (Part 2: Rapid evidence review).

Part 1: Learning from practice, presents an analysis of practice-based case studies of volunteering in Wales during the Coronavirus pandemic. It explores the relationship between volunteering and individual and community wellbeing.

Part 2: Rapid evidence review, provides a synthesis of the evidence that has emerged relating to volunteering and wellbeing during the Coronavirus pandemic. It is based on a rapid search and synthesis of evidence published between March 2020 and February 2021.

The work is part of a wider project on volunteering and wellbeing conducted between February-March 2021, which also includes a synthesis of volunteering case studies from across Wales, collected by the Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA), the Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA), and partner organisations.

The project was led by the WCVA, in partnership with the Wales Centre for Public Policy (WCPP) and WLGA. It was funded by the Welsh Government’s Coronavirus Recovery Grant for Volunteering 2020/21. The project will build on the work of the Third Sector Partnership Council’s Covid recovery sub-group, informing the Welsh Government’s work on enabling the voluntary sector and volunteering to contribute to a recovery that supports the goals of the Well-being of Future Generations Act (2015).