Forcing unemployed to do voluntary work 'unlikely' to improve their mental health, research says
Welfare policies that force unemployed young people to carry out regular voluntary work are unlikely to improve their mental health and wellbeing, new research says.
Jobless people who carry out voluntary work regularly have no better mental health than average among the unemployed, the British Sociological Association’s annual conference in Birmingham was told today [Wednesday 6 April 2016].
Dr Daiga Kamerāde and Dr Matthew Bennett, of the University of Birmingham, analysed survey responses by almost 2,500 unemployed people in 29 European countries, including the UK, to see how doing voluntary work altered their mental health.
They found that in the UK people who did voluntary work once every fortnight or less had better mental health than those not volunteering at all. But more frequent volunteers had no better mental health than the average unemployed person. Read more>