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


Project Director: Nadia Bashir
Project Duration: 2018-2023

The This-Ability programme is for young people with a disability/learning disability or difficulty or a long term health condition, who require additional support in accessing and gaining employment and may need support within the workplace to ensure sustainability.  A research team from CRESR are evaluating the This-Ability programme using quantitative research, including analysis of monitoring data and SROI and qualitative research involving peer research training and interviews.

Evaluation of Ask and Act

Project Director: Cathy Harris
Project Duration: 2020-2022

Ask and Act aims to equip professionals with the skills and knowledge to identify potential victims of domestic violence and provide appropriate support through referrals and interventions.

Research into local authority enforcement in the private rented sector and property guardianship

Project Director: Dr Kesia Reeve
Project Duration: 2020-2021

This study is focused on two key issues. Firstly, it explores how local authorities (LAs) in England are using their enforcement powers in the private rented sector. Secondly, it explores the extent and characteristics of property guardianship in England including attention to issues such as conditions, fees, geography and the profile and experiences of property guardians. It draws on a bespoke survey of local authorities in England, case study work and qualitative interviews with property guardians.

West Yorkshire Finding Independence Evaluation

Project Director: Professor Del Roy Fletcher
Project Duration: 2014-2020

A mixed method evaluation of the West Yorkshire Pilot funded under the auspices of the Big Lottery Fund’s ‘Fulfilling Lives’ programme. The evaluation seeks to explore the implementation of the pilot and investigate its ability to provide an integrated service to those with multiple and complex needs (offending, homelessness, substance misuse and mental health problems).

An evaluation of ‘Prioritise Me’

Project Director: Dr Jan Gilbertson
Project Duration: 2019-2020

The team at CRESR is supporting Speakup Self Advocacy in developing the Prioritise Me training and undertaking a small scale evaluation which will be submitted to the Energy Saving Trust.

Get in touch

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

Key clients

Age UK
Arts Council England
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)
Fulfilling Lives Lambeth Southwark Lewisham
Glasgow Housing Assocation
Government Equalities Office
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
Speakup Self Advocacy
St Basils
Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council
Stoke-on-Trent City Council
The Humber Learning Consortium
The Social Exclusion Unit
Trussell Trust
West Yorkshire Housing Partnership
Weston Park Cancer Support Centre
White Rose Collaboration Fund project
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