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Title: The experiences of volunteers in a childhood cancer charity
Author: Eastaugh, Rachel Kathryn
ISNI:       0000 0004 7428 1327
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2018
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Introduction: Serious childhood illness has a significant impact on the child and their family, but it is known that strong supportive relationships can act as a buffer. Due to limited NHS resources, volunteers are becoming integral to the support of such families. Despite this, little is known about the experiences of volunteers in such roles, and more specifically, those choosing to volunteer in emotionally challenging areas such as childhood cancer. Method: A sample of seven volunteers working for Candlelighters childhood cancer charity were interviewed using semi structured interviews; transcripts were analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis. Results: Volunteer’s experiences of working in a childhood cancer charity were described in terms of five superordinate themes: ‘Motivation’, ‘Identity and Roles’, ‘Coping’, ‘Community’, and ‘Family’. Overall, the themes captured what motivates individuals to volunteer and in particular why they chose the area of childhood cancer. The themes also reflected the impact that the role has on their sense of identity and self, and how the participants seemed to cope with that role. It is speculated that this is in part due to the protective experience of belonging to a community as described by the participants, with frequent allusions to an even deeper link in terms of feeling part of a family. Discussion: The findings of this study are related to the wider literature with consideration of role identity theory and the significance of community and relationships. The strengths and limitations are discussed to assess the quality of the study. Implications for our current understanding of volunteers and suggestions for future research are proposed.
Supervisor: Cliffe, Thomas ; Latchford, Gary Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available