CRESR

Voluntary and community sector

CRESR has expertise and a long standing interest in the study of the voluntary and community sector. We undertake research both for and about the sector.

Our work focuses on:

  • measuring and mapping the voluntary and community sector
  • measuring outcomes and impact, including of social return on investment
  • approaches to social investment and funding
  • understanding sustainability, resilience and financial vulnerability
  • engagement and participation of communities

We also undertake research on specific social, economic and policy issues for clients. For example, we carried out research on hidden homelessness for the housing charity Crisis and have looked at the role of community businesses for rural community councils.

Search our work


Evaluation of the Heritage Lottery Fund’s First World War Centenary activities

Project Director: Dr Will Eadson
Project Duration: 2014-2020

Evaluation of the HLF’s grant-making activities aimed at supporting activities by community groups and heritage-based organisations focused on the commemoration of the First World War Centenary.


Early Action Neighbourhood Fund Evaluation and Learning Contract

Project Director: Sarah Pearson
Project Duration: 2015-2020

The Early Action Neighbourhood Fund (EANF) is an initiative aimed at supporting pilot projects to test early and preventative action in order to develop a better case for prevention and early action among commissioners and funders. The programme is being delivered by a collaboration of funders (the Big Lottery Fund, Comic Relief, Esmee Fairbairn, Barrow Cadbury Trust, Legal Education Foundation), under the banner of the Early Action Funders Alliance.

Three pilot projects have been supported in Phase 1. The evaluation will demonstrate programme effectiveness and identify best practice which can be used by EANF grant holders. It will also evaluate the  effectiveness of programme design and delivery in providing the right conditions to support transformational projects.

The evaluation is using a mixed methods approach including collation and analysis of quantitative project and outcome data, and interviews with stakeholders and beneficiaries.


Talent Match Evaluation and Learning Contract

Project Director: Professor Peter Wells
Project Duration: 2013-2019

Talent Match is a Big Lottery Funding initiative of up to £100 million. It is investing resources in a number of areas in England where youth unemployment is a significant issue. BIG will invest for a period of up to five years to improve the lives of people aged 18-24 who have been out of education, employment or training for 12 months or more. The aims of the evaluation and learning contract are: to track the success of the programme and projects within it; to identify what works well, for whom and in what circumstances; and to share learning and improve practice.


Evaluation of the Tesco Bags of Help community grants programme

Project Director: Dr Will Eadson
Project Duration: 2016-2018

The Tesco Bags of Help community grants programme disburses funds collected through the single-use carrier bag charge in England and Scotland through grants for community organisations to make improvements to public space. This mixed methods evaluation will explore the impact of the grants on people, projects and on perceptions of environmental action and the role of business in environmental enhancement.


Evaluation of the More than Food Programme

Project Director: Chris Dayson
Project Duration: 2016-2018

In June 2016 CRESR was appointed to evaluate the 'More than Food' programme on behalf of the Trussell Trust.

The work of the Trussell Trust, a 400-strong network of foodbanks across the UK, has grown in size and prominence as a response to food poverty in post-austerity Britain.

The More Than Food Programme was developed to offer support to clients beyond emergency food provision with the aim of addressing the underlying causes of food poverty and crises within a single community hub.

The programme, which has received funding from a range of sources, including the Big Lottery Fund and Comic Relief, focuses on four main areas:

  • Money management
  • Healthy eating
  • Holiday clubs for families
  • Tackling fuel poverty.

The More Than Food Programme was endorsed in Feeding Britain - the report of the All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry into hunger in the UK. The report recommended a formal roll-out of a 'one stop shop' model of delivery, seeking to address the underlying causes and the symptoms of food poverty 'by providing advice, skills and advocacy services, as well as food and human friendship, under one roof'.


Get in touch

For further information please contact Sarah Pearson at s.pearson@shu.ac.uk or call 0114 225 4902,
or Professor Peter Wells at p.wells@shu.ac.uk or call 0114 225 6262.

Key clients

Action Together
Age UK
Big Lottery Fund
Bolton CVS
British Red Cross
Cabinet Office
Church Urban Fund
Community Fund
CVS Rochdale
Economic and Social Research Council
Foundations Independent Living Trust (FILT)
GMCVO
Groundwork
Groundwork UK
Heritage Lottery Fund
Home Office
Humber and Wolds Rural Community Council
Involve Yorkshire and Humber
Joseph Rowntree Foundation
Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales
Macc
National Association for Voluntary and Community Action (NAVCA)
National Council for Voluntary Organisations
NHS Nottingham City CCG
Northern Rock Foundation
Rural Action Derbyshire
Salford CVS
Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council
Tesco
Trussell Trust
Voluntary Action Rotherham
Yorkshire Adoption Agency
Yorkshire Rural Community Council
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