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

State of the Voluntary and Community Sector in Sheffield

Project Director: Elizabeth Sanderson
Project Duration: 2016

The purpose of this work is to provide Voluntary Action Sheffield and Sheffield City Council with a better understanding of the Sheffield Voluntary and Community Sector and the state of volunteering in the City.

Evaluation of Yorkshire Adoption Agency’s DFE Expansion Grant

Project Director: Chris Dayson
Project Duration: 2015-2016

An evaluation Yorkshire Adoption Agency's (YAA) activities funded by a DFE Expansion Grant (2014-16). Employs a mix of quantitative and qualitative data, including Adoption Leadership Board (ALD) data.

Talent Match Sheffield City Region Local Evaluation

Project Director: Elizabeth Sanderson
Project Duration: 2016-2017

Sheffield Futures are the lead partner of the partnership delivering the Big Lottery Fund's Talent Match Programme in the Sheffield City Region. The Programme aims to address high levels of unemployment among 18-24 year olds in the area. Although led by Sheffield Futures the involvement of various local delivery partners has meant there are different delivery models across the City Region.

Sheffield Futures would like to undertake an interim evaluation to understand which aspects of the delivery model have worked and which have worked less well.

State of the Voluntary and Community Sector in Nottingham

Project Director: Elizabeth Sanderson
Project Duration: 2015

The purpose of this work is to provide the Council, the VCS and its partners with a better understanding of the Nottinghamshire Voluntary and Community Sector.

Evaluation of the British Red Cross 'First Call' Service for Older People

Project Director: Professor David Robinson
Project Duration: 2015

A process and outcome evaluation of the Red Cross First Call support programme for older people in Leicester and Rutland, which provides 12 week programme of support for older people at a time of crisis.

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
Health Action Local Engagement
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
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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