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  • Author or Editor: Rhys Dafydd Jones x
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This chapter highlights turbulence and uncertainty in relation to contemporary patterns and processes of migration. This has been driven by a variety of causes including the international rise of populism and Brexit. Many EU citizens have been targeted in xenoracist incidents. A review of the academic and policy literature underlines how many accounts take an integrationist view of migrants’ participation in the UK. This presents them as passive and requiring support, rather than as being resourceful agents and civil society makers. The interview data discussed in this chapter reveal how the Brexit referendum result made many feel that they no longer belonged or were wanted. In turn, migrants’ experience of hostility and discrimination prompted some to be proactive, setting up and running new civil society initiatives to tackle dominant negative discourses of migrants in the UK. A further core finding is that volunteering and participation in civil society functions as an anchoring practice, helping individuals bond with their communities, both in terms of people and places. The analysis also reveals a major civic participation gap between migrants and non-migrants.

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This chapter outlines the context of civil society in Wales during COVID-19. It begins by outlining the situation of civil society at the onset of the pandemic, and noting the challenges faced up to the beginning of the first lockdown, including longer-term challenges such as austerity, volunteering gaps and limitations and more immediate difficulties such as the impact of floods in early 2020 on some organisations.

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Since March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has had extraordinary effects on the voluntary sector across the four nations of the UK. The advent of the pandemic was preceded by a renegotiation of social policy, and this has played out differently in the four UK nations, which is reflected in variations in relations between the state and the voluntary sector. In this chapter, we draw on the findings of an ESRC-funded project co-produced by a UK-wide team of academics and practitioners. During the pandemic, the work of some volunteer-involving organisations had to be paused, the delivery of some projects reconfigured and new groups and organisations have been established to alleviate the economic and social consequences of the crisis. The chapter focuses on the challenges facing the voluntary sector across the four nations as they move to recovery and reflects on the policy adjustments that would strengthen voluntary sector responses.

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