I am a Lecturer in the Centre for Philanthropy, at the University of Kent’s School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research. I teach on undergraduate modules Platinum Volunteering and The Third Sector: charities and social enterprises in modern society, and postgraduate module Fundraising and Philanthropy.
In the Centre for Philanthropy, my current work includes a project on volunteer Fundraisers in East Kent and research on how a lifecourse approach can help us better understand philanthropy and volunteering. I have previously worked on projects for The Heritage Lottery Fund and researched Philanthropic Journeys (funded by and in collaboration with the charity Pilotlight).
I completed my PhD at Northumbria University in 2012, which looked at how volunteering undertaken by older adults relates to their volunteering and other work activities across the lifecourse. This research was
undertaken in collaboration with Age UK and funded by an ESRC CASE Studentship. I have a degree in Geography (1st Class) and an MA in Human Geography from the University of Manchester.
Room CNE 110
Cornwallis North East
University of Kent
Canterbury, Kent CT2 7NF
Also view these in the Kent Academic Repository
My research interests focus on philanthropy, charitable giving, volunteering and the charitable and community sector.
I work within the Centre for Philanthropy, which explores philanthropic activities, social patterns of giving and the redistributive impact of transfers from private wealth to the public good.
Currently my work looks at the role of volunteer fundraisers in East Kent and on how a lifecourse approach can help us better understand philanthropy and volunteering.
Previously I have undertaken research for The Heritage Lottery Fund, and researched Philanthropic Journeys (funded by and in collaboration with Pilotlight).
My doctoral thesis, completed in 2012, looks at how volunteering undertaken by older adults relates to their volunteering and other work activities across the lifecourse. The research comprised of interviews
with 28 older volunteers, from which three categories of older volunteer, first proposed by Davis Smith and Gay (2005) were developed. My research has added to this knowledge by identifying broader life
patterns which influence these three categories of volunteer in different ways;
- Constant volunteers have volunteered for the same organisation for most or all of their adult life. They generally have lived fairly stable lives. They are unlikely to have been widowed or divorced and
they are likely to have had fairly consistent career patterns in paid employment. In short, the stability in their lives as a whole enables stability of volunteering.
- Serial volunteers have volunteered intermittently and for different organisations over their adult life, and often have far more chaotic lives. Divorce and widowhood affect the ability of an individual
to give up their time to volunteer. For women in particularly, having children and leaving paid employment temporarily impacts on the extent and nature of engagement in formal volunteering.
- Trigger volunteers, who only begin volunteering in older age, are a far less homogenous group. Some have had very stable lives prior to volunteering, others highly chaotic. The one link is that they all experienced some event – retirement, widowhood, even simply seeing a particular news article – which results in them being encouraged to volunteer.
In the 2014-15 academic year I will be convening SO670 Kent Student Certificate in Volunteering, Platinum Award, which supports students in the 100 hours of volunteering required to pass this module, across
three placements in voluntary organisations.
I will also in 2014-15 be convening SO645 The Third Sector: charities and social enterprises in modern society, co-taught alongside Dr Jeremy Kendall and Dr Beth Breeze. This module teaches undergraduate students about the theories and development of the charitable sector, with focus on organisations, policy, volunteering and philanthropy.
In the 2013-14 academic year I convened SO839 Fundraising and Philanthropy. This MA module provides an up to date overview of current academic knowledge about philanthropy, and industry knowledge regarding fundraising practice.
Students gain an understanding of historical and contemporary issues relating to philanthropy and fundraising, the various theories and ideologies regarding the existence of philanthropic behaviours and
the role of government and policy-makers in shaping the legal, fiscal and cultural context for philanthropy and fundraising.
Students also have the opportunity to achieve a professional qualification in fundraising.back to top
I have contributed to articles in:
- Fundraising Magazine
- Charity Times
- Kent on Sunday
I am an active member of the Voluntary Sector Studies Network and the International Society for Third Sector Research.
I have appeared on:
- BBC5 Live Saturday Breakfast
- BBC Wiltshire Breakfast Show
- BBC Coventry and Warwickshire Mid-Morning Show
A lecture where I speak on the role of the voluntary sector
(a Think Kent video)