• Christine Hjorth Winkel Hansen
4. term, Social Work, Master (Master Programme)
The three homes for war veterans in Denmark opened in 2010 to provide a refuge for former soldiers. Throughout the five years veterans have joined the refuges in Copenhagen, it has become apparent that around 70 percent of them struggle with psychological issues. In 2014 the market research- and consultancy firm Epinion published an evaluation report of on the homes. The report states that the homes manage to help the war veterans with psychological challenges that society has difficulties accommodating. The homes are driven solely by volunteers with a wide-range of different experience, being and all are a part of the homes for different motivational reasons. The background for this examination of the field is based on a curiosity as to the motivations behind the work that the volunteers contribute at the homes. Through qualitative interviews with volunteers, war veterans and a leader, this thesis has obtained extensive empirical material. The manager of this material uses a hermeneutic approach and shows that volunteering for social work is driven by social capital, recognition, the joint third, recovery, habitus, stigma and deviation. The level of contribution by the volunteers is dependent on personal chemistry and relations between volunteers and the war veterans. The management of the homes has yet to achieve giving the volunteers enough background knowledge about war veterans and their psychological challenges. This currently results in the interpretation of volunteering endeavours on an individual basis. The empirical study, supported by the opinions both volunteers and war veterans, suggests that the veteran home is a unique place that is able to contribute with different content that is hard to find elsewhere in society. The war veterans find something familiar in the home, related to their time as soldiers, where companionship plays an important part, and, in addition, the veterans are able to provide each other with support.

This study attempts to transparentize the decision-making for the reader. The reader is introduced to necessary background knowledge about volunteering and war veterans. The empiricism of the study is described in the method section. The analysis and the theories that emerged via the empiricism are supported by literature. Going forward, this examination may be beneficial for other organizations or homes working with war veterans, in order to increase knowledge about the kind of social work that can have a positive and recreational impact on war veterans with psychological challenges. Furthermore, these findings may also be applied generally to volunteering within social work directed at socially marginalized groups in society.
Publication date26 Aug 2015
Number of pages107
ID: 218010854