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Humanism and Social Resilience

Organising meaningful contact

  • Start: September 2019
  • End: September 2023
  • Status: ongoing

This PhD study by Laurine Blonk examines how elderly people build contacts through voluntary work practices, when such contacts are perceived to be meaningful, and what role volunteer organisations play in building and maintaining these contacts.

Description

In the programme ‘Samen Ouder Worden’ (‘Ageing Together’), Vereniging NOV is working with ten national volunteer organisations to determine the added (specific) value of volunteer work in care and welfare, and what volunteers can contribute to meaningful ageing. The goal of the programme is to better align the activities by volunteer organisations with the growing demand for voluntary help and support. The volunteer organisations also wish to improve their positioning in relation to paid care and support, residents’ initiatives and municipal authorities. 


A core idea is that the specific value of voluntary work comes to the fore especially in organising personal encounters: one-on-one contacts between elderly people, between elderly people and neighbourhood residents, and between volunteers and elderly people. This project examines how elderly people build contacts through voluntary work practices, when such contacts are perceived to be meaningful (by the elderly people, by volunteers or neighbourhood residents), and what role volunteer organisations play in building and maintaining these contacts. 


The study produces knowledge on how volunteer organisations can organise meaningful contacts for and with elderly persons. Also, expectations and ideas in practice and policy regarding the value of organised contacts are examined and, where necessary, nuanced.

Researchers

Partners

Vereniging NOV

(Mede)financiering

Vereniging NOV

Zie ook

NOV: Programme 'Samen Ouder Worden'

Contact

Prof. Anja Machielse, A.Machielse@UvH.nl.

PhD research into how contacts of older people take shape within volunteering, when these contacts are perceived as "meaningful", and what role volunteer organisations play in establishing and maintaining these contacts.