Voluntary Support in a Post-Welfare State: experiences and challenges of precarity

Andrew Power (Lead / Corresponding author), Edward Hall, Alex Kaley, Hannah MacPherson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This paper examines voluntary sector care and support provision under a context of significantly reduced government funding. Whilst geographers have analysed the causes and aftermath of austerity on different populations, our focus is on how managers of voluntary sector organisations have had to learn and evolve through bidding for non-statutory funding to sustain their core provision. Drawing on research with voluntary support organisations in the learning disability social care sector in England and Scotland, the paper examines the effects of the state’s continued reliance on the sector for core ‘public’ services whilst simultaneously withdrawing its funding. Using accounts from managers, the paper offers a particularly novel and potent example of voluntary sector precarity and the deepening unfinished and unsettled nature of care and support that has unfolded in the wake of austerity. Through the empirical research, attention is drawn to three levels of precarity that are experienced by those seeking to sustain voluntary support provision: voluntary sector organisation and structures, the voluntary sector workforce, and individual managers’ everyday emotional and affective experiences.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-95
Number of pages9
JournalGeoforum
Volume125
Early online date13 Jul 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 13 Jul 2021

Keywords

  • Austerity
  • Co-production
  • Disability
  • Non-profit
  • Third sector
  • Welfare

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