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


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.


Our Bigger Story: Longitudinal Multi Media Evaluation of Big Local

Project Director: Angus McCabe (TSRC, University of Birmingham)
Project Duration: 2018-2019

The second stage of a planned ten year multi-media evaluation of the 'Big Local' community-based regeneration programme, using creative visual data collection and interaction techniques - film, audio, diaries, photography and elicitation.


Discourses of Voluntary Action at two 'Transformational Moments' of the Welfare State, the 1940s and 2010s

CRESR Contact: Dr Rob Macmillan
Project Duration: 2017-2019

The publication of the Beveridge Report in 1942, and the subsequent establishment of comprehensive welfare services in the UK, was referred to as ‘a revolutionary moment’. The same term has been used to describe the context in which welfare services have been and are still being significantly reshaped since 2010. At these two transformational moments, fundamental questions have been raised about who is responsible for the provision of welfare services. The project study will explore the debates that have taken place on the role, position and contribution of voluntary action in the provision of welfare in the 1940s and 2010s. It will compare and contrast public, political and voluntary sector discourses. The research will contribute to new understandings of voluntary action and to practical action for third sector organisations and policy makers.


An economic assessment of assets in community ownership

Project Director: Ian Wilson
Project Duration: 2018-19

This study will:
  • Provide a mapping of the present picture of community asset ownership in England; including a detailed mapping in five Local Authorities.
  • Survey assets in community ownership to gain a national level assessment of their financial health, the benefits that they provide to local communities and the challenges that they have faced.

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.


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
Power to Change
Rotherham Hospital Aftercare Service
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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