Voluntary work: a bridge from long-term incapacity to paid work?

Document type
Corden, Anne
Date of publication
1 April 2002
Voluntary Action: the journal of the Institute for Volunteering Research. Vol. 4; Number 2
Volunteering, Disabled people
Social welfare
Material type

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Many disabled people take part in voluntary work of all kinds, including those who also have paid work and those whose main income comes from social security benefit. The Labour government’s extension of active labour market policies to groups of people previously assumed economically inactive has focused attention on ways of helping incapacity benefits recipients to try to return to work. There is a belief that voluntary work may serve as a stepping stone into paid work by increasing the employability of, and opportunities for, disabled people. In this article the author looks at structural issues within social security arrangements for disabled people that may influence their participation in voluntary work. Drawing on her recent research, she discusses whether and how doing unpaid work can smooth the path to paid employment for people with impairments or long-term health problems.

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