Presented by Christala Sophocleous.

Politicians across the UK have been fulsome in their praise of voluntary action in the context of the coronavirus pandemic, and specialist funding has flowed into the voluntary sector to support this work, not least into to community-based social care services, within which much voluntary sector activity takes place. However, the work of the sector is not bounded by its internal capacity alone; public policy in respect to both social care and the voluntary sector prior to the pandemic, was critical in shaping policy and actions responses by governments and voluntary organisations during it. Within the UK, both social care and voluntary sector policy are devolved responsibilities, and this comparative paper considers how governance and policy divergence in the 4 UK ‘nations’ has shaped voluntary action and, voluntary sector–state interaction during the pandemic, and reflects on how this experience might shape the future of the UKs voluntary sector(s).

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