Vulnerable groups

CRESR has a strong record in delivering research exploring the needs and experiences of vulnerable and 'hard-to-reach' groups. Our research portfolio includes a substantial body of work focused on vulnerable sections of the population, including:

  • homeless people, particularly marginalised subsections of this population, such as those with mental ill health, rough sleepers and the 'hidden homeless'
  • people with multiple or complex needs
  • gypsies and travellers
  • street sex workers
  • offenders

We evaluate the impact of particular interventions on vulnerable groups. For example, we examined the efficacy of family/intensive intervention projects and recently assessed the Yorkshire Prisons ETA scheme. We inform relevant policy through the production of toolkits and guidance for clients, such as for regional planning bodies looking to estimate gypsy and traveller pitch requirements. Two key areas of work involve considering the role and effectiveness of statutory and voluntary sector agencies and assessing how well the policy and legislative framework meets the needs of vulnerable groups.

Search our work

Evaluation Youth Facilities (MyPlace)

Project Director: Sarah Pearson
Project Duration: 2011-2013

An evaluation of the impact of Myplace centres on outcomes for young people and their communities. The evaluation used quantitative and qualitative evidence to identify the range and diversity of youth facilities; the types of young people accessing them and the extent to which they were engaging in the full range of services; an analysis of the costs and benefits associated with the youth facilities and an assessment of the value for money offered by the programme; an analysis of the income generation and financial sustainability of the youth facilities.

Evaluation of the Personal Effectiveness and Employability Through the Arts (PEETA) Project

Project Director: Professor Del Roy Fletcher
Project Duration: 2012

This Leonardo Transfer of Innovation project is working across six European countries to test the use of an Edexcel qualification developed by Exeter University and Superact which uses the arts to develop the employability and personal effectiveness skills of prisoners. The qualification is being piloted in prisons in the Netherlands, Italy, Austria, Italy, Portugal and Turkey and uses different art forms and varying approaches to delivery. CRESR have been commissioned to evaluate the project with a particular focus on capturing the learning that has occurred in each country and identifying the key policy lessons.

Offender Peer Interventions: What do we know?

Project Director: Professor Del Roy Fletcher
Project Duration: 2012-2013

The deployment of offenders in peer mentoring roles is increasingly viewed by the UK Government of its plans for improving rehabilitation. This study sought to synthesise our knowledge of the approach. 

Evaluation of the National Community Cohesion Strategy for Wales

Project Director: Professor David Robinson
Project Duration: 2010-2012

An evaluation of the implementation and effectiveness of Getting on Together, the Welsh Government's community cohesion strategy.  Analysis includes the review of implementation at the national and local levels and analysis of trends in cohesion across Wales.

Scoping Study on Violence Against Women

Project Director: Ryan Powell
Project Duration: 2012

This scoping study on violence against women was commissioned to help inform the BIG Lottery Fund of potential areas of intervention. The scoping study was conducted in spring 2012 and involved two key research tasks: a literature review of existing evidence; and interviews with key stakeholders engaged in the provision of services aimed at combating violence against women. The study sought to identify evidence on the following broad issues: domestic violence linked to sporting events; violence among girls and young women involved in gang-related activities; domestic violence in pregnancy.

Get in touch

For further information please contact Dr Kesia Reeve at or call 0114 225 4519

Key clients

Age UK
Big Lottery Fund
Birmingham City Council
British Red Cross
Church Urban Fund
CLAHRC Yorkshire and Humberside
Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care for South Yorkshire (CLAHRC SY)
Community Links
Department for Work and Pensions
Department of Children School and Families
Developing Initiatives Supporting Communities (DISC)
Glasgow Housing Assocation
Home Office
Joseph Rowntree Foundation
Leeds City Council
London Borough of Lewisham Council
National Association for Voluntary and Community Action (NAVCA)
North Lincolnshire Council
Nottingham City Clinical Commissioning Group
Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council
Scottish Executive
Scottish Government
Small Business Service
South East England Regional Assembly
St Basils
Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council
Stoke-on-Trent City Council
The Social Exclusion Unit
Trussell Trust
West Yorkshire Housing Partnership
White Rose Collaboration Fund project
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