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Can environmental volunteering organisations deliver health-related impacts? The case of The Conservation Volunteers

Seymour, Valentine Iona; (2018) Can environmental volunteering organisations deliver health-related impacts? The case of The Conservation Volunteers. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

There is an emerging body of literature exploring the potential link between connecting with the natural environment and human health. In response, there has been a gradual rise in the numbers of eco-health programmes, including environmental volunteering activities. However, despite emerging research exploring this link, it is still uncertain to what extent volunteering organisations deliver health-related impacts. This owes to an insufficient amount of evidence demonstrating causal links as well as a deeper understanding of how volunteers engage in these programmes and how volunteering organisations measure the delivery of their impacts. To address this potential link, the thesis explores the health-related impacts delivered by environmental volunteering organisations from the perspective of The Conservation Volunteers (TCV). TCV’s impact measurement tools are analysed through contextual inquiry and transaction log analytical approaches; Examining how volunteers engage in TCV programmes, is carried out through descriptive and cluster analytical approaches, implementing significance testing where possible; Finally, volunteers’ perceptions of health and the impacts these have had on volunteer’s health-related behaviours, are explored using ethnographic, survey, exploratory and significance testing methods. Findings revealed that work contexts, data requirements and real-world environmental factors were found to have shaped TCV’s impact measurement tool and volunteer data collected. Findings also identified differences in engagement patterns and contributor activity of volunteers who engaged in TCV’s volunteering programme, Action Teams. Overall, volunteers who engaged in TCV activities presented moderate to high levels of health-related behaviours. However, causal relationships could not be made due to the questionnaire survey design. Findings also presented similarities and differences between how volunteers’ perceptions of health and measurement indicators used by TCV to measure their delivery of health-related impacts. This suggests that impact measurement tools currently used by TCV are capturing a partial picture of health-related impacts delivered.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Can environmental volunteering organisations deliver health-related impacts? The case of The Conservation Volunteers
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Civil, Environ and Geomatic Eng
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10053344
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