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Ageing, place and voluntarism: towards a geographical perspective on third sector organisations and volunteers in ageing communities

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This article addresses the gap within discourses on ageing that call for greater involvement of the third sector in support of older people, but do not account for the difference 'place' makes to understanding third sector activities and volunteering. It reviews recent developments in the literature that highlight the importance of place-based approaches, particularly the emergent view of voluntarism as a transformative process that shapes and is shaped by the interactions between older people and their ageing communities. The link between ageing, place and voluntarism is illustrated via a case study of volunteer-based community support for older people in Canada's most rapidly ageing municipality. Findings from an inventory, survey, focus groups and interviews in Peterborough, Ontario reveal the complexity, interdependence and place-embeddedness behind a successful yet potentially unsustainable response to the challenge of supporting older people. The paradox of relying on under-resourced third sector organisations and older volunteers is highlighted.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Email: [email protected]

Publication date: July 2014

More about this publication?
  • Voluntary Sector Review publishes high-quality, peer-reviewed, accessible papers on third sector research, policy and practice. It is an invaluable cutting-edge resource for all those researching or working in the fast-growing voluntary, community and wider third sectors.

    The journal covers the full range of issues relevant to voluntary sector studies, including: definitional and theoretical debates; management and organisational development; financial and human resources; philanthropy; volunteering and employment; regulation and charity law; service delivery; civic engagement; industry and sub-sector dimensions; relations with other sectors; social enterprise; evaluation and impact. Voluntary Sector Review covers voluntary sector studies from a variety of disciplines, including sociology, social policy, politics, psychology, economics, business studies, social anthropology, philosophy and ethics. The journal includes work from the UK and Europe, and beyond, where cross-national comparisons are illuminating. With dedicated expert policy and practice sections, Voluntary Sector Review also provides an essential forum for the exchange of ideas and new thinking.

    Rigorous and stimulating, Voluntary Sector Review is an indispensable tool for everyone who values empirically-grounded, theoretically-informed and policy-relevant reviews of the future direction of the voluntary sector.

    Editors: Nick Acheson (Trinity College, University of Dublin, Ireland), Bernard Harris (University of Strathclyde, UK), Rob Macmillan, (University of Birmingham, UK)

    The journal is published in association with the Voluntary Sector Studies Network (VSSN) and a print copy of the journal is a membership benefit.

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