Who is responsible for the provision of welfare services? A chance to explore and challenge the findings of a study into the changing boundaries between voluntary sector and state provision in the 1940s and 2010s.

We are currently witnessing considerable changes in the ways in which welfare services are provided in England. Significant shifts in access and entitlement to basic services are being rolled out, and the funding and delivery of services is being rethought. These changes have major implications for voluntary action in welfare provision. The boundaries between the state and the voluntary sector are being renegotiated, to the extent that some have called it ‘a revolutionary moment’. The same term was used to describe the establishment of comprehensive welfare services in the 1940s. At these two transformational moments, fundamental questions have been raised about who is responsible for the provision of welfare services.

The Discourses of Voluntary Action study has been exploring these debates both in the 2010s and the 1940s. They have been comparing and contrasting the ways in which the general public, politicians, and voluntary sector organisations talk and write about these issues; highlighting the contested nature of the boundaries between sectors and challenging some of the prevailing wisdom.

They would like to share their emerging findings with people from across the voluntary, community and public sectors. They ask participants to challenge and question their findings, to extend their thinking, and to help them work through the implications. This will be a highly interactive workshop that will inform their final stages of analysis. They are most grateful to all participants for their contributions.

The workshop is free to attend and a limited travel bursary is available, upon request (please email [email protected] to find out more). The workshop starts at 09.30 (for 10) and finished with lunch at 12.30. Registration, via Eventbrite, is essential.

Programme outline

09.30 Arrival, tea, coffee and biscuits

10.00 Welcome, introductions and warm up

10.25 Presentation of findings

11.00 Round table discussions

12.00 Plenary discussion – implications and actions

12.30 Lunch

Who’s involved?

The research is being undertaken by a team of researchers: Irene Hardill, Northumbria University; Georgina Brewis, University College London; Angela Ellis Paine, University of Birmingham; Rose Lindsey, University of Southampton; and Rob Macmillan, Sheffield Hallam University.

The study is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (grant reference ES/N018249/1), and supported by our five partner organisations: Age UK, Children England, Mass Observation, NCVO and UK Youth. Susanne Rauprich, previously the Chief Executive of NCVYS, has been involved in the study throughout, and will chair the workshop.

To find out more about the workshop please email Angela at [email protected]

To find out more about the project visit the website: Discourses of Voluntary Action

Booking for this event has now closed.