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

Village SOS Evaluation

Project Director: Professor Peter Wells
Project Duration: 2011-2012

Village SOS is a programme of the Big Lottery Fund undertaken in partnership with BBC ONE. The programme aims to provide a new model for the revitalisation of disadvantaged rural communities in the United Kingdom. The programme supported the funding of 10 village schemes across the UK, the deployment of a 'village champion' to work with these villages over 12 months, and for six of the schemes to feature in a BBC ONE television series.

EDF Evaluation

Project Director: Jan Gilbertson
Project Duration: 2011-2012

The main aim of the research is to provide evidence and learning which will support EDFET trustees to meet their operational objectives for 2011 and which will help the trustees and EDF Energy shape the future direction of the Trust in meeting its overall aims.

Evaluation of CVP's Working Neighbourhoods Fund projects

Project Director: Dr Richard Crisp
Project Duration: 2011

This project evaluates the impact of the three Working Neighbourhoods Fund delivered by Community and Voluntary Partners (CVP) in Bolsover. It includes a valuation of project outcomes.

An Evaluation of Outcomes and Value for Money Provided by Middlesbrough Voluntary Development Agency (MVDA)

Project Director: Chris Dayson
Project Duration: 2011

The research measured the outcomes of MVDA's support for voluntary and community organisations in Teeside. It included an innovative 'valuation' element, which explored the different ways in which the economic and social value of MVDA's work could be monetised.

Making a Difference: Research on the Voluntary and Community Sector in Derbyshire

Project Director: Sarah Pearson
Project Duration: 2011

Research on the economic and social impact of the voluntary and community sector in Derbyshire, including Social Return on Investment case studies of voluntary and community sector organisations.

Get in touch

For further information please contact Sarah Pearson at or call 0114 225 4902,
or Professor Peter Wells at 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
Community Links
CVS Rochdale
Economic and Social Research Council
Foundations Independent Living Trust (FILT)
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
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
South Yorkshire Housing Association
Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council
Trussell Trust
Voluntary Action Rotherham
Yorkshire Adoption Agency
Yorkshire Rural Community Council
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