Accessibility statement

Supported Volunteering at the Ripon Museum Trust

International Principal Investigators


  • 1 Jan 2022 - 31 Dec 2023



Research Theme

Mental Health Social Research

Programme summary

Volunteers play an important role in communities as they use their skills and expertise for the benefit of others. Their unpaid contributions make a real difference, and many community or voluntary sector organisations cannot operate without them. The Ripon Museum Trust (RMT) in Ripon, North Yorkshire, uses volunteers to help run the museums, for example, by working on the front desk; showing visitors around; hosting school groups and conducting research for exhibitions.

People volunteer for a number of reasons, such as to gain new skills for future employment or to find a fulfilling role in retirement. Volunteering is also being increasingly recognised as important for our mental wellbeing. However, people with low mental wellbeing or a diagnosed mental health problem often find it difficult to engage with  formal volunteering opportunities.

Supported volunteering provides a way for people who require additional support to access volunteering opportunities. However, limited research has been conducted on supported volunteering so we do not know enough about how, and if, it might help people.

This project aims to evaluate supported volunteering at RMT and has three objectives:

• To explore how and why supported volunteering works and develop a manual to share this with others.
• To explore outcomes for people receiving supported volunteering and the organisation providing it.
• To assess costs and potential economic consequences of supported volunteering.