I Have Felt So Much Joy
- 1150 Muirhead Tower
- Social Sciences
“I have felt so much joy” – the role of emotions in the UK’s Community Sponsorship Resettlement Scheme.
The UK’s Community Sponsorship Scheme was established in 2016 to enable community groups wishing to help refugees the opportunity to sponsor a refugee family to come to the UK and support them to become integrated. The scheme depends entirely upon the goodwill of volunteers requiring many hours of commitment over a period of at least a year. Using data from a longitudinal formative evaluation of the CSS we explore the role of emotions in Community Sponsorship. Using Jasper’s (1998) theory of emotional capital we demonstrate how reactive and affective emotions underpin the development of CSS groups and the delivery of successful support. Tracing the cycle of emotions through the lifetime of the group from establishment, to reception and then long-term refugee support we highlight the key roles of different types of emotion at different stages as volunteers move from initial motivators such as anger or outrage through to joy, surprise, trust and fear. We argue that emotional labour is a key dimension to CSS volunteering with emotional capital of fundamental importance to CS delivery. The scheme offers the potential of huge emotional gains for volunteers, but they need support with emotional work to reduce risks of stress and burnout and to ensure the sustainability of the scheme.
“I have felt so much joy” – the role of emotions in the UK’s Community Sponsorship Resettlement Scheme