Our project has examined voluntary sector discourses and narratives on the place of the voluntary sector in welfare service provision in the 1940s and the 2010s.
Our research focuses on five voluntary organisations (Age UK, UK Youth, Children England, NCVO and NCVYS). All of these are ‘umbrella’ bodies, selected to represent different policy fields within the voluntary and community sector (the sector itself, children, youth and older people).
We have also consulted papers of Beveridge’s original 1940s Voluntary Service Inquiry which is housed in LSE Special Collections and Archives, and which was published as Voluntary Action in 1948.
With each partner we signed a ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ giving us privileged access to key documents and publications produced by the organisations for the two time periods. We have worked with UCL Special Collections to take several of these collections on temporary deposit (where they were not otherwise deposited in a repository). Where possible we have consulted internal documents such as Board minutes and papers, policy papers and reports, and correspondence with members to explore both internal and external narratives.