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December 2020

Participatory arts, sport, physical activity and loneliness: the role of volunteering

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Participatory arts, sport, physical activity and loneliness: the role of volunteering
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The quick read: what you need to know

There is promising evidence that volunteering can improve wellbeing and alleviate loneliness in participatory arts, sport and physical activity.

This review shows that volunteering can enhance wellbeing and/or reduce loneliness when taking part in participatory arts, sport and physical activity by:

  • giving and sharing skills, expertise and experience
  • creating places/spaces of security and trust
  • providing opportunities for personal skill development.

The volunteering role can sometimes be challenging if the helper-helped relationship is not well-matched; resources for long-term volunteering are lacking; and if volunteers feel undervalued and without preparation and guidance. We recommend providing volunteer training and support and adequate resourcing to mitigate these effects.

  • 11080

    studies sifted through

  • 27

    have been included (eight published, 19 unpublished)

Close The quick read: what you need to know

Process map

Definitions explained

What evidence did we find?

Evidence into action

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You may also wish to read the blog article on this document.

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