The place of religious faith, effort and enthusiasm: Motivation and persistence in volunteering in response to holiday hunger

    Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk


    In the context of austerity, UK food poverty has reached unprecedented levels, and faith groups are playing a crucial role in responding to it. How are people motivated by their religious faith to respond to food poverty, and how do they persist in volunteering? This is important to understand if projects relying upon volunteers are to be sustainable. This paper questions how volunteers are motivated and persist in volunteering in a faith-based context through volunteers’ narratives from an inner-city church holiday hunger project ‘Lunch’. It contributes to two key agendas in the geographies of religion – faith as performed in people’s daily lives and the role of faith in society – because volunteering was a way for Lunch volunteers to act out their faith. I conclude that Lunch volunteers’ religious faith was significant in motivating volunteering, but motivations must be continually re-ignited to avoid in-action. Effort and enthusiasm were key relations with volunteers’ religious faith for whether a motivation would result in action. Overall, this paper argues that persistence in volunteering is a continual process of motivation, action and reflection in which factors from the past, present and anticipated future feed into volunteers’ motivations to persist in volunteering or not.
    Period24 Oct 2019
    Held atUniversity of Southampton, United Kingdom