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    Volunteering in the community: understanding personal experiences of South Asians in the United Kingdom

    Iqbal, Syka, Di Martino, Salvatore and Kagan, Carolyn ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6015-6179 (2023) Volunteering in the community: understanding personal experiences of South Asians in the United Kingdom. Journal of Community Psychology. ISSN 0090-4392

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    Upstanding civic action is central to individual and community well-being, particularly when communities comprise rich and diverse membership. However, not all groups in society have the same opportunities and resources to volunteer. This is particularly true for South Asian people, who are often reported to be less likely to volunteer. Research into the experience and meanings that this ethnic group attributes to volunteering has been exceptionally scarce. Informed by a community psychology perspective, this qualitative study conducted nine semistructured interviews with British South Asians involved in formal volunteering activities. The aim was to explore their personal experiences and motivations regarding volunteering for their community of belonging. Results from reflexive thematic analysis were grouped under three themes. These were (1) volunteering cultivated individual well-being, (2) South Asians who volunteer often experience social injustice and marginalisation and (3) volunteering for South Asians is intrinsically tied to religious and cultural motivations. British South Asians faced personal and social obstacles in accessing fundamental health and social care in their communities of belonging. Religion, and community social capital were positive volunteering strategies for British South Asians. Positive impacts of well-being included becoming closer to faith and increased sense of meaning/purpose and recognising of individual strengths. These findings offer valuable insights and recommendations for community organisations and governmental bodies to better promote volunteering for ethnic minorities. We suggest the adoption of cultural and religious sensitivity, along with strategies to remove barriers in access to opportunities and support for volunteering.

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    6 month trend

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