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 Black Thrive

Project Director: Chris Dayson
Project Duration: 2018-2023

An evaluation of Black Thrive, a long term partnership between the public and voluntary sectors in Lambeth that aims to improve the experiences, access and outcomes for Black people in the area of mental health services.


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.


Evaluation of the British Red Cross First Call Service

Project Director: Ian WIlson
Project Duration: 2017-2020

The overarching aim of the study is to evaluate delivery of the First Call service including its impact on beneficiaries and the volunteers delivering the service. The First Call service aims to deliver low-level support to older people, taking a time-limited and key worker approach to assisting with issues such as social isolation, budgeting, coping with bereavement, moving home and managing ill-health. Red Cross plans to deliver First Call in four areas during the period of the evaluation.


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.


Evaluation of Children’s Communities

Project Director: Sarah Pearson and Mike Coldwell
Project Duration: 2017-2020

A Children’s Community is:

A NEIGHBOURHOOD: Children’s Communities are located in disadvantaged places with a history of partnership working for children and a collective commitment to take this to the next level.


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
Community Links
CVS Rochdale
Economic and Social Research Council
Foundations Independent Living Trust (FILT)
GMCVO
Groundwork
Groundwork UK
Health Action Local Engagement
Healthwatch Lambeth
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
Local Trust
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
South Yorkshire Housing Association
Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council
Tesco
Trussell Trust
Voluntary Action Rotherham
Yorkshire Adoption Agency
Yorkshire Rural Community Council
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