4. How? How family and organisational contexts shape family volunteering experiences

Volunteering is a situated practice,[1] shaped by the context in which it takes place. Here, we consider family context, particularly focusing on how people fit volunteering into their family lives or their lives around volunteering, and the importance of family as a source of emotional and practical support for volunteering. We then consider how the organisational context can affect families’ experiences of volunteering, with a focus on elements that were highlighted as either enabling or constraining family volunteering.

4.1. How family life affects the volunteering experience

Fitting volunteering in

Volunteering is one of many roles and responsibilities that families juggle on an ongoing basis. People we spoke to talked about the busyness of their family life, particularly in terms of pressures from paid work, combined with a growing array of children’s sporting activities, clubs and interests. Reflective of national evidence,[2]many felt that families were getting busier and more rushed, and that it was increasingly difficult to juggle everything.

This was affecting the experience of volunteering for families. These wider developments were exacerbated for those who felt that the demands of volunteering itself were intensifying. When volunteering was less intense, less frequent and/or more flexible, this was less of an issue.

Volunteering was often something that families fitted in, as and when they could, around other roles and responsibilities, such as paid work, caring responsibilities and leisure activities. Some made space for volunteering by fitting it into certain slots of time they had available around those other roles and responsibilities, such as during the school day on non-working days.

What other roles and responsibilities people had to fit volunteering around depended in part on family life stage and changed over time. For some, there was a sense that it got easier to fit volunteering in as children got older and became more independent.

While some felt that volunteering was a distinct, separate activity, to be fitted in alongside other activities for others it was either an extension of or combined with those other activities, roles and responsibilities, making ‘juggling’ feel like less of an issue. For some, for example, volunteering was not seen to conflict with leisure time; it was a form of (serious) leisure[3]which extended from an interest such as sport, dance or music, and was talked about as a passion, something that was fun and enjoyable, if at times demanding.

When parents and children were involved in the same activity – through volunteering for an activity that children were attending, bringing along children or volunteering together – this was seen as an effective way of combining both caring responsibilities and volunteering, and of enabling participation. Indeed, in this context, some volunteers said they didn’t feel like they were volunteering at all, they were simply spending time with their children and having fun. Family volunteering became part of the family routine, part of family life, rather than something that needed to be made to fit in, as volunteering separately might. As one person reflected:

In order to make volunteering fit, particularly when multiple family members were involved in multiple roles, people talked about the importance of being very organised, carefully planning their time and managing diaries across the whole family rather than just on an individual basis. Often the responsibility for managing the ‘family schedule’ fell to women, adding to their ‘mental load’.[4] During a group interview with one family, the father reflected:

Fitting family life around volunteering

For a few families, rather than fitting volunteering around other roles and responsibilities, they fitted family life around volunteering: ‘So, yes, it wasn’t [this organisation] being part of our lives, it was our lives fitting in with [this organisation].’ For some, this meant sacrifices had been made: there was an opportunity cost for volunteering. Some, for example, felt they had neglected housework, gardening or leisure activities, as they had prioritised volunteering.

We came across a couple of families that had delayed or cut short holidays to ensure they could meet their volunteering commitments. Reflecting on the level of commitment the family has made to volunteering, one person said: ‘We also don’t do anything outside volunteering, like normal family things are like very few and far between.’ While this was generally reflected upon warmly within families (a standing family joke about having a messy house, for example), it could cause tensions within families when other things get neglected.

This was particularly so when one part of a couple was more involved in volunteering than the other: ‘It could be that the wife comes to do something but the husband doesn’t and the husband says, “Well, I don’t want you going every week to do something,” it could be the reverse.’ We return to these points in section 5 on the outcomes of volunteering.

For some, the juggling and meeting volunteering commitments can get too much, particularly when volunteering roles carry considerable levels of responsibility and/or at times when the demands from other roles are especially intense. As one person reflected, volunteering can become a ‘job’ that you have to fit into your ‘spare time’.[5]

A number of respondents talked about finding it hard to say no to requests to volunteer, whether to take on a new role or whether to increase their commitment within an existing one. For some, volunteering carried with it a considerable sense of duty, responsibility and obligation; to say no could be associated with feelings of guilt. These pressures felt particularly intense within families that were involved in multiple volunteering roles.

It was suggested that these already ‘busy people’ were the most likely to be asked to volunteer, and there was a risk that they would feel pressured to go on taking on more and more until they reached breaking point. Once involved, some people found it hard to leave, particularly when their whole families were deeply embedded within an organisation. Some felt that the only thing to do was to break all connection with the organisation – to make a dramatic exit:

Fitting life around volunteering: The Taylors

The Taylor family – mum (Susan), dad (James), Graham and Eleanor (in their early 20s) are all involved as volunteers in St John Ambulance. Graham was the first to get involved in a Badger youth group. They describe their family as ‘busy’, and ‘very community orientated’; it is soon clear why. Last year, Susan and James volunteered for a combined total of nearly 3,000 hours with St John Ambulance.

And this is only one of the organisations for which they volunteer. Susan also volunteers as a youth leader and on the council for her church; she is a school governor and heads up the local Women’s Institute. Both Susan and James work full time, so most evenings are spent volunteering, with weekends spent preparing for the next week’s volunteering activities.

This doesn’t leave much time for anything else: ‘We also don’t do anything outside volunteering, like normal family things are very few and far between.’ They manage to fit everything in through being very organised: Susan manages the diary, keeping on top of everyone’s schedules and planning the family calendar six months ahead. She said: ‘In our diary we’ve actually got a list of all the duties that we expect to get and we plan around them, but that’s our choice to plan around them, because you can always say no…so, as much as it does control our lives, that’s our choice for it to control our lives, because we could say we’re not doing any of those things’.

For Eleanor, time to volunteer is juggled with her passion for dancing, which tends to take priority over university studies and paid work. They all talk enthusiastically about their volunteering, the opportunities it has given them, what they have achieved and the fun they have had along the way. For Susan and James, the opportunity to volunteer together after the children left home was particularly valued, after years spent supporting separate activities that the children were involved in.

Family support

The level of support for volunteering within/across a family can have an important influence on the possibilities for and experience of volunteering; this is critical if the volunteering role is particularly intense. This included both practical and emotional support.[6]Practical support can include: directly helping with a volunteering role that one member of the family leads on (we heard of children baking cakes or helping to prepare resources for a parent’s voluntary role, husbands helping out with more physically demanding aspects of a role and wives doing the catering at events associated with their husband’s voluntary role); providing transport or childcare to enable someone to volunteer.

Emotional support was also important. Families can be an important source of encouragement for volunteering, recognition and validation, a boost in confidence, an ear to listen after a stressful session, a shoulder to cry on and a person to vent to. As one person said of her partner and his support of her volunteering:

In supportive families, volunteering was described as a ‘team effort’, even when they weren’t physically volunteering together:

Even when volunteering wasn’t physically done together, for some there was a sense that the psychological commitment to volunteering was a collective commitment.

A lack of support can cause tensions and resentments, making the continuation of volunteering difficult. We spoke to a number of people who had continued volunteering despite a lack of support for it from other family members, with knock-on effects on other areas of their lives. This lack of support can be reflective of underlying perceptions of and attitudes towards volunteering. Reflecting on conversations she had had with other volunteers, one person said:

Levels of support for volunteering varied within and between families according to a number of factors, such as the nature of the relationships within families, the balance of other roles and responsibilities, family values, expectations within the family of certain individuals (often gender related) and the relative status of volunteering.

Family support: The Williams family

The Williams family consists of mum (Edith) and her two daughters (Jessica and Amelia) who are in their late 20s/early 30s. They all work and volunteer in a range of health, care and educational roles across the local community. Edith’s parents were a big influence on the whole family’s volunteering: her dad used to volunteer at a day-care centre and at the church they attended, while her mother was a Brownie leader.

Edith used to help out with both. This has led to a lifelong passion for and commitment to volunteering and community support: she has been involved in the Brownies ever since. Edith is also heavily involved in St John Ambulance, a role that her daughters support her in both emotionally and practically. Jessica and Amelia, for example, both help to deliver youth work activities when they can, and when they can’t attend sessions with their mum, they help her with the preparations for the session at the weekend. Talking about everything together also helps to take the burden off each other if things do get too much.

They describe it as using each other’s talents and interests, as working it out between them to make it happen and as being reflective of a wider sense that they have ‘got each other’s backs’. They describe themselves as a close-knit family who are intuitive about each other’s needs. They reflect that not only does volunteering together ‘feel good’, and represent a ‘constructive use of time’, it also ‘teaches you a way of living and learning’ and has contributed to them being a ‘small family with big networks’. Enjoyment, they suggest, is key.

The status of and priority for volunteering

Within many of these findings are implicit or explicit messages about the relative status of volunteering, particularly compared with paid work. In general, it was suggested that societal changes, such as increased costs of living, were meaning that paid work was given priority over everything else, including volunteering. For some, this meant that it was hard to justify prioritising volunteering. For example, while it was generally seen as acceptable to ask grandparents to help out with childcare for paid work, this was not extended to volunteering. As one (very committed) volunteer, who was a single parent to three children, reflected:

The relative significance of and priority given to different roles and responsibilities was not static; it fluctuated and was influenced by different stages in family life. There was also a clear gender dimension within this. It was suggested, for example, that for many young couples (indeed young adults in general), paid work was the priority, as it was important to establish careers, and that demanding careers, particularly when involving a commute, left little time for volunteering.

As one person put it: ‘We didn’t volunteer as young adults because we just worked’. Priorities and pressures changed with the arrival of children, and indeed grandchildren. Some changes led to volunteering being reprioritised (for example, supporting children’s activities); others had the opposite effect. Other key ‘moments’ included: moving house and wanting to integrate into a new community; changing jobs; retirement; having ageing/ailing parents. Volunteering doesn’t necessarily stop and start as people move through various family life stages but often changes as people readjust their priorities and commitments.

The relative status of volunteering was raised as a particular issue for women volunteering when on maternity leave or while working as homemakers. Some women, for example, suggested that volunteering was given a lower status than paid work, with implications for whether their partners would support their volunteering and whether they themselves felt that they could legitimately expect others to share their other roles and responsibilities in order to be able to volunteer:

In some families, volunteers actively chose to talk about their volunteering as ‘work’ or as a ‘job’ in an attempt to raise its status and to justify their involvement to themselves and/or to others within their family and beyond:

Different perceptions of volunteering: Asma and her family

One family we spoke to came from Pakistan to live in Manchester six years ago. The status of volunteering within the family illustrates how understandings of volunteering may vary according to people’s cultural background. Asma volunteers for the Whitworth several times a week, and sometimes she volunteers with her younger brother. Her father has not been supportive of her volunteering for a range of reasons – partly because it’s not paid, partly because he wants his daughter to give priority to her duties at home, but also because it’s not something he is familiar with.

In the UK, a lot of emphasis is placed on formal volunteering in an organisational setting like the Whitworth. But volunteering also happens more informally through people helping out and supporting each other or carrying out charitable actions, and this is what Asma’s father has been used to and sees in a positive light. For instance, during Ramadan, Asma cooks extra food and goes with her brother to give it to the homeless, and the family has helped neighbours who recently arrived in England with administrative tasks such as registering at the local GP surgery and school.

Despite a lack of support from her father, Asma has pressed ahead with her volunteering, often working late into the evening to ensure her domestic duties are met so that she is free to volunteer. Indeed, she has now encouraged her teenage brother to volunteer with her during the school holidays, another brother to participate in activities at the gallery and her mother to come along to various events and exhibitions. Volunteering has been beneficial for Asma’s mental health and transformative for her relationships within the family.

4.2. How organisation affects families’ volunteering experiences

A range of organisational features were also identified as being particularly significant in shaping families’ experiences of volunteering.

A family-friendly approach

Creating a family-friendly environment and approach to volunteer involvement was a way of enabling and enhancing the family volunteering experience, particularly when the focus was on the involvement of parents and children. This included providing childcare facilities, enabling parents to bring children with them, ensuring volunteering roles and activities were fun and enjoyable for all ages and inviting family members to volunteer training days or celebration events. Putting such things in place helped to support the involvement of people who would otherwise not be able to volunteer, including parents of young children. Comments included:

It was suggested that one of the keys to making family volunteering work was the recognition and understanding of the context of families – ‘being mindful of what else pulls on them’ as one person put it. In particular, this meant being mindful of some of the challenges around the unpredictability of family life, organising childcare and the limited time that parents have, and the benefits that volunteers can gain whether volunteering with their family or as an individual in a family context.

Being family friendly was not limited to organisations with specifically designed family volunteering schemes, nor was it limited to volunteering. Indeed, for some organisations it reflected their wider ethos and/or mission, and this had contributed to an extensive engagement with family volunteering by default. One person talked about it as reflecting the ‘organisational personality’, whereby bringing family members along – whether you were a volunteer, a member of staff or a participant/service user – had become ‘part of the socially acceptable narrative’.

Family-friendly opportunities: Little Village

Reflective of the organisation’s mission and ethos, Little Village offers a family-friendly environment, in which family volunteering is actively encouraged. On two mornings a week, special sessions are run to enable volunteers to bring their children along with them. As one volunteer said: ‘Everyone here is particularly family oriented so that is a big part of it that I’m able to bring the children, a lot of people have been DBS checked by the process so as much as you can in any large social situation, they are with you, near you.’

While volunteers can bring children to both these sessions, with volunteers often looking out for each other’s children, on one day a week a crèche is provided to enable volunteers to focus on their volunteering while feeling reassured that their child is being looked after nearby. More generally, the organisation is flexible and provides a range of opportunities across the week for different family members. Older children of adult volunteers, for example, can volunteer as part of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and/or during special sessions in the summer holidays; younger children are found age-appropriate tasks to help out with: ‘Depending on the age of the children, we will get them involved…we’ve got puzzles they can pair, a knife, fork, spoon they can match together.

We try and make sure that if children are involved and part of their experience of volunteering, that we look at what they can get out of it, what they can do together, can they do something together that is at the right level for a child of three.’ Volunteers are encouraged to bring family members along with them to social/celebratory events. Creating family-friendly opportunities had been particularly important for the inclusion of their volunteers who were former beneficiaries of their service, who may want to give back to the organisation but do not have childcare.

Flexibility and variety

Being flexible was frequently identified as being an important way for organisations to enable families to volunteer, ensuring that volunteering can fit around other commitments. Flexibility was important in terms of the time commitments required of volunteers, for example creating roles that could be undertaken at different times of the day and week (school hours suited some; evenings and weekends suited others) or not requiring a regular commitment but allowing more episodic involvement. This helped to reduce barriers to participation, making it easier to fit volunteering around family life. This was recognised by organisations and volunteers alike:

Allowing family members to share volunteer roles was also identified as being an important form of flexibility. Sharing a volunteer role (especially when it was particularly onerous) with another family member, or indeed with someone else from the local community, was highlighted as a way for volunteers to manage the volunteering commitment and balance it with family life: ‘That really supported my family and my lifestyle and commitments outside of [volunteering in this organisation]’.

Similarly, it was suggested that organisations should be mindful of family preferences regarding volunteering together or alongside, being flexible enough to enable a balance between the two. Some families expressed frustration that they had been volunteering alongside each other within an organisation, but had not had the opportunity to see each other or do anything together, making them feel like they were being treated more like workers than volunteers:

Flexibility was also talked about in terms of enabling volunteers to engage in a wide range of roles and activities, ensuring that there was enough variety to suit different – and changing – interests, needs and time constraints. Having a variety of flexible opportunities was seen as particularly important when engaging with different generations: different roles and activities were needed to suit different age groups. As one respondent reflected:

Being flexible also meant organisations recognising that volunteering isn’t static: it changes with people’s life course. It was important for them to consider how they might accommodate potential breaks in volunteering . no longer (for example, having time to volunteer due to the arrival of a new baby or taking care of a sick relative), keeping in touch when appropriate and welcoming people back when their situation altered.

Almost complete flexibility at the Whitworth

Within its discrete family volunteering programme, volunteering at the Whitworth is very flexible, allowing volunteering to slot in around family needs. Most of the volunteers in the scheme have young children, and this flexible approach allows them to fit volunteering around children’s routines and the somewhat-unpredictable nature of family life. Indeed, the activities that family volunteers are involved in are structured so that they could run if the family volunteers didn’t turn up: no activity is entirely dependent on the family volunteers, as other volunteers or members of staff are also involved.

There is a degree of formality with some processes in place around recruitment and health and safety, but the gallery prioritises the needs of family volunteers and is able to adapt. The gallery’s approach to family volunteering has been largely influenced by the volunteer manager’s own experience, as she has a young family and volunteers with her three-year-old daughter. Because of the very flexible approach and tailored support provided to volunteers, family volunteering is considered more resource intensive than other forms of volunteering. Staff at the gallery believe that they could attract more families if they promoted family volunteering more widely, but they don’t feel they currently have the capacity to manage this potential growth.

Diversity and inclusion through flexibility and variety within family volunteering: The Scouts

Throughout its history, the Scouts has involved parents as volunteers for events, camps and outdoor activities. In recent years, it has responded to changing family needs with a more flexible and varied volunteering offer. For example, in response to being approached by families from Muslim communities, it has assisted them to set up over 200 local sections nationwide. To support this, it established the Muslim Scouts Fellowship to train parents to become Scout leaders and allows them to bring their families along to weekend training events where it provides children’s activities.

It has also been involved in a Department for Education-funded early years pilot to address child attainment gaps across five English locations. Adults over 18 bring a four-to five-year-old close relative – mostly parents with their child – to a Scouts location where they are supported and trained by a volunteer to deliver communications group activities (both written and verbal). Pilots have benefited from a flexible definition of close relatives – for example, a grandparent can take a grandchild to events held after school or on weekend days if a parent has work or childcare responsibilities.

Progression and pathways

Alongside providing a variety of flexible roles and activities, supporting progressions within them was also seen as important. Creating a pathway for people to come into an organisation and gradually move through different forms of engagement, roles and responsibilities was seen as being particularly important for facilitating: young people’s move from participant/service user to volunteer; parents’ move from helping out with activities their children were involved in to a wider, more sustained engagement. This enabled family volunteering to move from ‘do for’, to ‘do together’, to ‘do alongside’. As one person reflected:

Having pathways into different roles was also important for those who, due to age, ill health or changes in circumstances and family needs, needed to step back from a role that had considerable responsibility or was particularly physically or emotionally demanding, but wished to keep helping out in less intense ways.

Finding ways to continue to involve people in new roles more suited to their changed capability and/or capacity was felt to be particularly important when volunteers – and their families – had been involved for long periods of time and the family had become particularly embedded within the organisation. This could be a sensitive issue and could sometimes mean moving people on from a role or organisation, or helping them to allow themselves (‘giving them permission’) to step back, which could have considerable ramifications for that person:

Some organisations we spoke to had clear routes, or pathways, into and through volunteering, particularly those that provided services and activities for young people (encouraging young people who attended activities to gradually take on responsibility for supporting, delivering and leading those activities, for example). In others, it felt more as if the volunteers were left to find their own way. There was a suggestion in some organisations that traditional pathways, which had previously facilitated family volunteering, had begun to break down due, in part, to societal changes, but also to a lack of attention or leadership.

In one case, it was suggested that there used to be a ‘natural migration’ of parents from volunteering to help with activities in which their children were involved to wider roles within the organisation, and of young people from attending an activity as a participant to volunteering to help with the running of that activity and then to wider roles. However, this ‘flow’ had been neglected, and opportunities to engage families, and build involvement across generations, had been missed.

Natural progression: Family volunteering at St John Ambulance

As a large organisation that is heavily reliant on volunteers, St John Ambulance has a broad range of opportunities. As well as being focused on different activities and practical tasks, opportunities carry with them various levels of responsibility and require different skills, competencies and time commitments. This is seen to facilitate the involvement of multiple family members within the organisation, while also enabling the progression of individual family members, both of which contribute to volunteer retention.

As one person reflected: ‘So, you can bring your whole family to Saint John because we have offers for different ages, we have offers for different intensities. Because we work outside of the working day, in the evenings and the weekends and stuff, it is something you can do on family time.’ Another said: ‘So, the structure if you like is quite volunteer-focused and volunteer-led, so there’s lots of opportunities for volunteers to progress and take increasing responsibility in the charity, which is probably one of the things that opens up this kind of sense of where families can get involved in lots of different ways, lots of different areas, etc.’

While the organisation has never had a specifically designed scheme for family volunteering, it is implicitly welcomed, encouraged and celebrated: ‘But, we celebrate it, we talk about it wonderfully, it’s an organisation that celebrates and recognises long service, it’s an organisation that recognises the value of this and that holds up young people as these wonderful examples to society and to a future.’ Recently, St John Ambulance has done more to actively encourage parents of children attending the youth groups to become leaders, through for example the ‘three week challenge’. As one person explained: ‘You say, “Can you come and help us for three weeks?” and the chances are by three weeks you’ve either fallen in love with it or somebody has press-ganged you into doing something else so then that’s it, that’s how you do it, you recruit by stealth!’

Balancing risk and regulation

A particular challenge identified for family volunteering was risk and regulation (especially safeguarding), as well as wider associated processes of formalisation and professionalisation. These tended to work against the enabling elements outlined above, such as flexibility and allowing volunteers to bring children along. The balance that organisations struck between risk and regulation, and flexibility and formality, was influential.

Due to safeguarding concerns, some organisations had adopted blanket policies on the involvement of young people which effectively ruled out volunteering amongst under-16-year-olds, creating a barrier to certain forms of family volunteering. Fears and uncertainties about what was and wasn’t allowed in terms of involving young people had led some organisations to be particularly cautious. Others had adopted a more nuanced approach, acknowledging that there was a ‘fine line’ between making sure volunteering opportunities were accessible, flexible and informal and having robust safeguarding and health and safely policies and procedures in place.

Overall, it was suggested that safeguarding concerns were making it harder to involve young people as volunteers, for parents to bring children along when they volunteered and for parents to help out in activities in which their children were involved:

Even when policies allowed for young people to volunteer, concerns about safeguarding held by staff or other volunteers could create a resistance to volunteering alongside young people. As one young volunteer reflected:

More broadly, it was suggested that over the past couple of decades, the tendency had been for organisations to become more formalised, professionalised and centralised, which had worked against flexibility and inclusivity, and against family volunteering by default or by extension. A growing amount of ‘red tape’ created barriers and was contributing to a suggested decline in multigenerational family volunteering in particular. For some organisations, the introduction of a specifically designed, discrete family volunteering scheme had been a way to overcome some of these developments.

Developing opportunities while managing risks: Royal Voluntary Service

Royal Voluntary Service is a charity that encourages volunteering through supporting people in hospitals and helping to improve the wellbeing of older people in the community. The charity has shifted towards recruiting a more diverse pool of volunteers by addressing barriers to participation, one of which is childcare responsibilities for parents and grandparents.

To accommodate this, Royal Voluntary Service has changed the way that it both recruits and engages volunteers. First, volunteer recruitment campaigns are tailored to appeal to parents and are clear they are able to volunteer with their children. Second, Royal Voluntary Service uses a non-prescriptive recruitment model based on what the individual wants to do and brokers arrangements where volunteers can bring or volunteer with any child below the age of 14.

These approaches have resulted in major challenges to managing risk. Royal Voluntary Service has worked with its insurance company to demonstrate that it could manage the safeguarding risks. For example, depending on the role, the charity allows children to participate in lower-risk home companionship or community group activities – especially where children can bring a special type of interaction with older people – but not with higher-risk people like those recovering from illnesses or a stay in hospital.

Helping organisations overcome barriers to engagement: Family Volunteering Club

The Family Volunteering Club’s launch was motivated by one mum’s experience of how difficult it had been to find opportunities to volunteer with her child. Starting in Lambeth and Southwark, the Family Volunteering Club has been working with organisations to create family volunteering events in local communities that are easy and fun to be involved in. A core part of its mission is connecting families and children with their communities – especially in a more transient city like London.

As part of its community-centred mission, Family Volunteering Club started by engaging with local families and organisations. During its three-month pilot in late 2019, it advertised at schools, libraries and community centres, asked families to complete a questionnaire on what they wanted to do and approached local volunteer-involving organisations to discuss and organise events. Successful activities included maintaining a miniature railway at the London Transport Museum, sorting donations at Ronald McDonald House, gardening at Draper Hall and carolling for Waterloo Foodbank.

Initial feedback indicates that families value their contribution to the community, seeing children learn about what local charities do and charitable giving, and, for families without access to their own garden, being exposed to new activities like gardening. Going forward, Family Volunteering Club will be growing its programme in London with a focus on widening participation for groups such as families with English as a second language, as well as piloting the programme in other locations across the UK.


  1. Cornwall, A. (2002) ‘Locating citizen participation’ IDS Bulletin 33(2) pp.49-58.

  2. See for example Wajcman, J (2014) Pressed for Time: The Acceleration of Life in Digital Capitalism

  3. See for example Stebbins, R. (2015) Serious Leisure: A Perspective of Our Time, Transaction Publishers

  4. Emma (2017) ‘The gender wars of household chores: a feminist comic’ The Guardian, 26.05.17 https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/may/26/gender-wars-household-chores-comic

  5. This chimes with other research, such as NCVO’s 2019 Time Well Spent study, which found that one in five volunteers felt that their volunteering was becoming too much like paid work (p9.)

  6. Wider research evidence recognises the emotional and practical support that family members provider each other, in different contexts – see for example Swartz, T. (2009) ‘Intergenerational family relations in adulthood: Patterns, variations, and implications in the contemporary United States’, Annual Review of Sociology, vol. 35, no. 1, pp. 191–212.