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Volunteers in an HIV Social Care Organization

Bebbington, Andrew, Gatter, P.N. (1994) Volunteers in an HIV Social Care Organization. Aids Care-Psychological and Socio-Medical Aspects of Aids/Hiv, 6 (5). pp. 571-585. ISSN 0954-0121. (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:20378)

The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided.


This study describes volunteers who were trained at a large HIV social care centre in South London during its first two years of operation. Many shared similar backgrounds to their clients; indeed some service users were also volunteers. Common motivations for volunteering were to learn more about HIV, to give something back to affected communities, and for gaining job-relevant experience. Selection, training and induction procedures were elaborate. But there were problems. Turnover was high, with half the volunteers dropping out in their first year. This matches reports for HIV organizations elsewhere, but is higher than for the voluntary sector in general. The high rate is attributed not to the nature of the work, but partly to the unusual social groups from whom volunteers are drawn and partly to the changing relationships between volunteers and the organization, symptomatic of which was loss of communication with staff and managers, and a consequent feeling of being undervalued. This can be linked to pressures arising from the pace of change in such organizations which have had the effect of marginalizing the role of volunteers. The new contractual arrangements with statutory agencies are contributing to the alienation, though ironically they were intended to strengthen the voluntary sector. The study questions whether AIDS service organizations should accept that the voluntaristic basis on which many originated is now over.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research
Depositing User: P. Ogbuji
Date Deposited: 27 Aug 2009 08:23 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2021 09:58 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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