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Welcome to the Voluntary Action History Society!

The Autumn 2017 Series of Voluntary Action History Seminars are coming soon!

Next event: Monday 23 October, 6PM Institute of Historical Research, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU


Richard Titmuss and Voluntary Action: From Problems of Social Policy to The Gift Relationship.
Richard Titmuss (1907-1973) was the first Professor of Social Administration at the London School of Economics, a post which he held for the rest of his life and from which platform he became a major figure in the development of the academic field of Social Policy.  While rightly seen as a staunch, if sometimes critical, defender of state-provided social services Titmuss nonetheless engaged with voluntary provision at various points throughout his career.  Here too he could be both critical and supportive so that, for example, in his last major work The Gift Relationship Titmuss argued that the voluntary system of blood donation as existed in Britain was both economically more efficient and morally superior to systems based on the commercial purchase of blood and blood goods.  Indeed Titmuss’s underlying belief in the need for altruism in welfare can be seen as particularly sympathetic to voluntary action.  This paper examines this often neglected aspect of Titmuss’s work and philosophy of welfare.

For more upcoming events, click here.

Recent News

Seminars for the Autumn season: In response to a number of requests these will be held at the slightly later time of 6pm. The seminar will conclude at 7.30pm when we will adjourn for a glass (or two) of wine and some informal conversation. The venue is once again Room 304 at the Institute of Historical Research, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU

VAHS is conducting a membership survey: Let us have your views: We have recently sent a brief questionnaire to our members and supporters to seek their views about VAHS and its future direction. If you haven’t already done so, please let us have your opinions. If you haven’t had your questionnaire contact louis.carserides@outlook.com for details.

6 June 2017 The University of Warwick has announced a conference on ‘From Trauma to Protection: the Twentieth Century as the Children’s Century’ to be held 19–20 April 2018. The conference seeks to bring together scholars working on children’s experiences of trauma/maltreatment (broadly defined) and attempts to relieve it during the long twentieth century, including efforts and experiences of voluntary organisations. For more information, click here.

26 April 2017 Registration is now live for our study day, ‘Voluntary Action and the Fight for Heritage: 50 years of Conservation Areas, 1967-2017‘ on Saturday, 24 June 2017 at St Pancras Old Church. For more information, and to register for the event, click here!

25 April 2017 The British Academy, in cooperation with Charity Finance Group, is hosting ‘Toolkit Launch: Improving Records Management in Charities’ on 15 June 2017 in London. This event will preview the new toolkit, designed to help charities improve their practices, policies and processes of record keeping, and will include talks from experts in voluntary sector records management, including a keynote by Bruno Longmore of National Records Scotland. The event is free, but registration is required. For more information, click here.

26 March 2017 VAHS will be holding a Study Day on ‘Voluntary Action and the Fight for Heritage: 50 years of Conservation Areas, 1967-2017‘ on Saturday, 24 June 2017 at St Pancras Old Church. The day will include talks by people active in the field, a guided walk around the King’s Cross/St Pancras development area, our AGM and a drinks party. More info will follow, but make sure to put the date in your diary now!

For more news, click here.

Latest Blog Posts

Disabled Ex-Servicemen of the First World War and Christian Charity in Inter-War Britain by Bethany Rowley

Charity in the Georgian Era: Lessons for Today? by Andrew Rudd

For more blog posts, click here.

If you have any voluntary action-related news or events you would like posted on the VAHS website, please email Kerrie Holloway at k.k.holloway@qmul.ac.uk.

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